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Stephen 47, U.s. 47, Iran 31, Von Neumann 24, Princeton 22, America 20, Russia 20, Britain 18, United States 17, Harry Truman 12, Missouri 12, Winston Churchill 9, Fulton 9, Iraq 9, Washington 9, Navy 8, England 8, Europe 8, U.n. 7, Cambridge 6,
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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    September 7, 2012
    12:00 - 5:00pm EDT  

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are transmitted. that has served us well in the past, and it seems to me that that is a legacy deeply embedded in the american tradition. it's not something we have to fit today. it's the way we do business for over 200 years. that's a lesson it seems we could bring to bear to light when we think about issues of our own time spent we've been talking with richard john, professor here at university -- of a university and author of this book, "network nation: inventing american telecommunications." thank you, professor. >> thank you very much. ..
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he discusses his analysis with former national security council official and center president. >> host: congratulations on this book. it's a sweeping story of one of the most -- a dramatic chapter in the contemporary u.s. foreign policy. one of the hardest challenges i think for our decision makers is the relationship with iran as the non-relationship with iran as we might say. i felt we might begin our
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discussion with -- explain to our listeners will why and how you wrote the book. some of the methodological issues so that we get that the state. before we get into the visit ali told stories of these 30 years of the u.s. iran engagement from the perspective of our sort of military to military interaction so, i wonder if we can just start with tell us why he wrote the book and how considering that you are a government historian but this book was really done through a different methodology. >> guest: the genesis started as a dissertation many years ago back in the 90's in the reagan foreign policy in the persian gulf to get one of the catalysts for me as far as an interest in the region itself was my father had been the u.s. central command -- commander from 85 to 88, the u.s. military commander for the middle east.
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obviously that sort of spurred interest even though i was young lieutenant of the time and my interests were far different than the large geopolitical issues. but after desert storm i went back to graduate school with an interest having served the pecos served in desert storm it got a quite interested in doing -- starting with a dissertation. that sort of kept up. i had intended to write a book about the time -- in fact i just signed a book contract about two days before 9/11 happened which was coined be far different book than this. and then after my military experiences and iraq and afghanistan, and as you started seeing the iranian issued a different light i expanded the scope of the book and spent a good ten years researching and writing this. my wife likes to remind me we haven't had a vacation since 2004. so very much every waking moment of my free time. i took a sabbatical from the
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government service. i was in the washington think tank for an extended period of time which gave me the freedom away from the government to write and travel. the research is quite interesting. if you're familiar with government records and the modern era, they are not in very good shape. most of them are electronic records. a lot of them have not been saved. so it really is -- we are not finding people who still have records talking to people. obviously archives -- and caspar weinberger giving me access to his papers. one of the best sources was a retired admiral i stumbled into who have really detailed presidential and secretary defense level meeting notes in notebooks he had in the crawl space of his basement. and they are really in cycle. then i travel a lot. i went to south beirut in some
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back alley statehouses when i was in sabbatical from the government to talk to hezbollah and hamas to get their side. interviewed hundreds of people for this book and plowed through a lot of records. so it really was -- and it wasn't really do anything i was doing in the government service at the time. because otherwise it would have been an overlap, but that was not even the case. >> host: because you are riding in a very contemporary period, the u.s. government officials documents only in their earliest period that you are covering has been declassified. so did you have to request -- >> guest: i requested documents and worked through the normal means the you try to get material released. >> host: i thought it might also be useful to reflect a minute or two on the role of the historian, the historian's perspective as opposed to a political scientist or, you know, someone who wants to take
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policy analysis perspective. so help us understand what you thought were kind of the boundaries of the story you were telling coming into the craft of the historian as compared to some of these other disciplines that also were covering the same period of the u.s. foreign policy. >> guest: i think first and foremost i try to take as unbiased a look at the story as i could. i didn't have a political agenda. i wasn't trying to make a case that, for example, george w. bush's policies were correct or incorrect. i don't think this is a particularly democrat or republican story. i see it as an american story. there's overarching themes that run across all the administrations, which i think are quite fascinating. but what i try to do is take a look at this coming in the larger perspective go back and see how did we get to where we are today, what were the main causes, is there any trends and themes that run through our relationship?
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and with the ultimate goal of trying to ride as an objective account of what transpired, what is on both sides to better inform the public about why it is we seem to be almost a collision course with iran. how did we get here? the truth is it is in history. we are both captured by our own historical baggage if you will of which traces back to 1979. they seem to have gotten over it. >> generally you think that americans are less historic we focused than other cultures and they are always invoking whether china or iran or turkey invoking the greatness of their own power and impact and the united states tends to be more future oriented but in this particular case you found that the trauma of the hostage crisis and in the iranian revolution is still very
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formative and the - of americans who are responsible for the iran policy. >> guest: it is. ambassador ryan crocker told me one time in an interview that they are the most historical were the least historical society. and in this case i think there's still certainly every time they have a negotiation including the most recent one in moscow during the whole litany of grievances, so it is always on their mind. whether the u.s. policy makers realize it or not, the are too. the first years after the revolution clearly the hostage issue was for most american policy makers mind. if the iran contra happens that causes the relationship with the next prior risk and we saw it happen to ronald reagan and over a series of instances where they have spurred u.s. efforts to the
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rapprochement. there's a great example like to give just on this idea of the more things change the more they stay the same. a couple of years ago i was down at the centcom headquarters in tampa talking to general ellen who is now the senior commander and was then the deputy commander of the central command, and we were going over a memo on the different u.s. goals and options for iran. when i read it on a was stunned, and i had to see general, you know, i can pull out a memo from 1983 that says almost identical to almost the exact same thing you're saying here written by one of your predecessors and that makes for a great relevant history and it doesn't say much for the state of our affairs. to make maybe a few counterpoints. it's you to me that some of the hostages, some of the americans living in iran founded the revolution. they themselves would like us
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not to be captive by history for the iranian society but it's also true, as you say, that some iran contra there are some subsequent chapters in the u.s.-iran relationship, so it's not just the 79th period 80 period, its more recent bruises or scars that the two sides are feeling. >> absolutely. the way that i like to describe it is we built -- the u.s. and iran had build a relationship or a house on an unstable foundation on this trust. and over the years, we sort of added to this distrust with an even more unstable house. both sides their culpability for perpetuating this problem. >> host: as you did your research did you try or decide that was kind of outside of the boundaries of your research to try to get the iranian perspective? did you try to interview
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iranians? >> guest: i did. i read a number of iranian documents and read some iranian officials that were not good enough to be available to me. as i said, i interviewed hezbollah. i interviewed a hamas representative who spent eight your -- eight years to get a perspective. looking at the u.s. lands in this issue. it's always a challenge unfortunately i can't go to the national archives and pull out their records. all of the german records and american records are there. we don't have that. so it is always a challenge. but i think i have done as well as you can possibly do has at least in this current time. >> host: i have heard academics say iran is getting better in terms of cutting the archives the academics can access, they probably are a bit envious of what you are able to do and telling the u.s. side of the story. i want to compliment you on how
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vividly some of the stories are told, and i think if hollywood decides to make a movie as a book coming you've already done a lot of the work for the screenwriters and giving a lot of color and atmosphere next -- atmospheric thank i want to ask what are your favorite stories from the book? what are the ones that you found the most dramatic not necessarily that the u.s. side comes out as the hero but coming from the pure kind of human interest slide what were some of your favorite continue its four chapters? >> guest: there's a few that i was personally involved with. there's a couple of them and they're both very dramatic. one is the story of a man that is san iranian navy captain. he made of plain in his own basement, had parties with alcohol freely, and his
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daughters were addicted to disney movies particularly cinderella. a very western family. he despised the current iranian government. he was a very staunch supporter of the shellacked -- shah and to go back and try to destroy its greatness. he had an 18-year-old son that he was essentially trying to get out of the iran-iraq war and would have ended up on the killing fields are, basra routt. so he goes to turkey to get a visa for his son to emigrate to hawaii, to move to hawaii said he could go to school in the united states. unfortunately, in return for the visa for his son of the u.s. government cia pitches him to work for the cia as a pretty robust intelligence collection effort going on by the director
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casey at the time, director of the cia. and he agrees and he becomes one of the best agents that the u.s. has. he is well positioned to provide perhaps the most significant information he provided was a massive attack on saudi arabia that they plant there were in the middle of executing it and he ticks off the cia and allows the military to take countermeasures in the shooting site as the gulf between u.s. helicopters and the small boats that killed seven or eight sirenians the cause them to get some pullback and think of something that is compromising. the significant aspect is that they never got to saudi area so it would have been a major war to read the downside is that the iranians a suspect somebody tipped them off, and the captain had been the lead naval planner for this operation. so they traced back and they put the tail on him and discovered
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he is the man that compromised him and just dramatic detail those recounted mostly through the eyes of his daughter who remembers her watching syndrome and complaining because the vcr wasn't working properly. the father comes home. all of a sudden a bunch of guys could show up and ransack the house, pulled the father of, take them in an unmarked car in prison and over the next seven or eight months he sold solitary confinement. there is a videotape of his trial and interrogation where he defends himself but i didn't compromise the government that people were traders and they finally hanged them. the story sticks with me because while i describe the eve ensler like to remember this is a very human story and i met his daughter in new york city and it
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always stuck with me. another story i think that is kind ever done the same line is one where the united states caught in the mind international waters designed the of the complete right to engage. but the problem is there is -- again, this is a huge story. the u.s. steel's board the ship the next morning and one has recounted the story he's searching some portfolio that happened to be dumping garbage on the u.s. open fire. probably had no idea they had no -- it wasn't in the decision process of doing the operation of this just a sailor there was told to do it and had to be dumping garbage at the wrong time. but as he searched his body for
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the intelligence value, we found a photograph of him and his 10-year-old son and even 15 years after he got very emotional knowing that some place in iran there is a son whose father wasn't coming home. >> host: that is a very touching story coming and it does leave me to imagine you have been forward deployed in iraq, afghanistan and participated in desert storm. the people in centcom that are deployed in the gulf where iran loom large over the decades as one of the most important threats to not only the u.s. military presence in the region, but also to our allies and partners of the gulf countries. how much opportunity is there for the kind of normal interaction? i've heard a little bit of the naval stories how there are some very limited protocols of how
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the american or british allies ships can interact the iranian ships. what is it like in terms of the protocol of factly contacting the military to military? >> guest: it depends. they have to davies, the of the revolutionary guard corps navy which is a part of the revolutionary guard much more strident, much more dedicated to the regime, and they have a regular islamic and republic of islam. its genesis was the u.s. navy and a lot of officers had been trained and somewhere recently but most of retired there's at least the institutional memory. the interaction of the regular navy is very professional. it's a standard protocol of the ships passing occasionally even rendered honors which is the custom and other warships past.
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they salute each other and that kind of things that's very professional. now the islamic -- the revolutionary guard corps and navy is a different matter. they are far less disciplined. the commanders are reworded version initiative, which is usually a gration and there have been a number of instances where back to the 1990's they've conducted what amounts to the market tax on the u.s. warships transiting the strait of hormuz for the gulf within approach for the adorable to -- lot older actions. they're going to uncover their guns. in 2008 >> one dropped mines into the water in front of it and lead to a shootout, so it can be a pretty dramatic event. the shooting that happened i believe was set last week between one of our oilers and
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what turned out to be a fishing boat that killed the fishermen as a reflection of the concern that we had in dealing with these revolutionary guard small boats. it's hard to tell the fishermen sometimes or a smuggler from one of the votes right on top of you. >> host: certainly over the years the professional navy has declined in the resources to the capabilities and the guard navy has become a much stronger factor. some people even believe the revolutionary guard is almost a parallel political structure in iran so the pendulum is swinging in their favor. >> guest: there is no doubt that the supreme court's of the army because there's the are the equivalent guard. the revolutionary guard is the supreme one. the conventional navy for example partly because of the incidents like the captain was and trusted as being royal to
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the navy but for years the of the revolutionary guard commander as the chief of the dave lubber patients for the regular navy just to keep watch on them. >> host: we must be reaching the tipping point where there's nobody left for the command that were in the days the u.s. and iran were close partners and allies. so does that generation that was trained in the u.s., the american equipment, that very generation must be more or less retired by now. >> guest: they really are. the same place you see those may be in the diplomatic corps where they went to school in the united states for example. i would say that a lot of the officers still love american commitment because the heavy influx after iraq and during desert storm and they purchased it and even then they realize our equipment even though it is 1970's it is still better which
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has an impact other calculations in the military today. but as the loyalty of those guys a think it is pretty well faded. >> host: we have the same problem which is the generation hoped to be stationed in iran for the very severely incapacities those folks have also most of them have finished their professional career so we do have a generation of folks that have only understood iran is a very distant target and have not had many opportunities to interact. >> guest: that is a great observation. and i think that the ambassador was one of the last ones that really was on active duty and had experience with iran. >> host: let's start to talk about the other kinetic stories that you have in your book about engagements between the u.s. and iranian forces.
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sometimes one senses that these were not necessarily planned at the highest levels to be provocative but things have been -- things happen. one country is trying to send signals to the other and it can escalate. in most of your stories it doesn't escalate to a sustained combat but what hovers throughout the book is any one of these episodes could turn into something larger and the lethal where we would be on the slope to the more sustained confrontation between the united states and iran. so i was hoping that you could -- if you could help us understand a little bit from the perspective of the u.s. military and people who are deployed let's pick some various points along the continuum to try to understand what the differences are like in the u.s. military. let's say the end of the iran iraq war. let's go back.
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the middle of the 1980's we see iran preoccupied by the war end of the united states kind of intermittently gets involved. does it try to stay neutral and others few wars where we want both sides to lose the this is one of the but we were kind of neutral at the beginning and then we have this anomaly which is the iran contra sort of the tail end of the iran-iraq war we were doing a rather complicated dance. why don't you help us understand some of the perspectives of, you know, the sort of military narrative how iran contra fit into what had been seen as a kind of a growing worry about the capabilities of iran and that whole decade of the 80's
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that iran as a mother to reactor didn't want iran to become a powerful military. >> guest: iran contra is interesting because it comes at the time iran contra happens at least the arms piece of it happens in the mid-1980s when they make the transition, militarily from worrying that the soviet union as the great threat as invading iran to an intrusive threat in its own right and one of the catalysts which i described in the book is one of the revolutionary guard boarded the uss president taylor which was the u.s. commercial ship which raises all sorts of bells of potential piracy and other hostage crisis that starts the u.s. military down a hole and the avenue of military planning frankly years later we are still doing it. but at the same time, you have this outreach to the moderates in the government that the white
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house pursues. i think that to look at the iran contra you have to look at what ronald reagan had been trying to do all along. in 1981 and september there are the documents that he approves. one is a national security directive that essentially raises the policy will be towards iran going forward and one of the elements of that in addition to the containment so that it doesn't spread to saudi arabia is to actively pursue moderates within the government that we might work with and there's a recognition that iran was powerful in the cold war and elsewhere to have the modern full of so we have to work with this government and maybe there are people who as you said earlier they hold the american sentiment. the other piece of that is the
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cia director which is to try to find these guys that we could work with, so william casey, director of the cia was always pursuing that. the idea may be if we provided some weapons to the moderates it was keeping what we have been doing for four or five years already. but that tension between iran as a threat versus some sort of an accommodation is the big stickler in one of the reasons the secretary of defense was adamant that we don't provide the weapons to iran because he saw that it was much more this is a growing threat rather of and help them work with them we needed to contain them but others in the administration particularly the white house and the national security adviser didn't discount the potential threat but what if we could find the right people to work with and got better relationships the threat would start diminishing.
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>> host: you mentioned this planning idea, and i think it's important the two sides of this the one is planning versus the current policies when you are a professional the three officer you spend a good part of your career no matter what your assignment is being aware of planning for contingencies, planning for the worst-case scenarios but meanwhile the current policy may not have a very aggressive component. the current policy may be to avoid conflict ortiz licht tension but there's always this planning piece. you have a dramatic stories about the plans that have occurred over the years that if they were winning those plans when they would likely interpret the u.s. is in the state of war or the u.s. perceives that the only way to describe our interactions state to state is warlike and i think this is a theme that kind of becomes even
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stronger in the more recent years where we now understand from the supreme leader of the perspective, the u.s. does see this as a relationship defined by the war and yet i hope he would agree that we do want to distinguish between planning for the worst-case scenario for bursa's the worst-case scenario. >> guest: i agree. one thing the pentagon does this plan. it's what they're there for and if they didn't plan for the contingencies they are not doing their job. if the crisis happens you can't make these up on the flight. you have to have forces and fight through the problem. as you go through the history and think very often you find the military officers are the ones that are counseling restraint they really don't want
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to go to war or escalate the crisis. so i think you are absolutely correct. the one problem we always have else you said they don't always interpret what we see correctly or don't interpret what they see is the better word. good example of that is 1998. the u.s., saddam hussein picks of the inspectors said 98. they lose forces for the who taught restrike called operation desert fox a small furry animal plan and fox is the one we used this time but the supreme leader and the government was absolutely convinced this was aimed at them that we were gearing up for the major strike in iran. if they looked at the headline that "the new york times" they would realize what it was about. somebody said that time
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apparently the supreme leader subscription had lapsed and they don't see this in the same light to read this misunderstanding and characterization as always there and there is always a potential for danger. >> host: why don't we take a break and we'll be back. >> guest: thank you. >> host: among the stories you tell our debates in the mother terrie in addition to the military and civilians and our government on, you know, how to manage the problem. how do we not in a way that sends a clear signals about our what lines without being so confrontational the only option is to escalate the military tensions. i thought your book had some original material on some of the debates in the military and i wonder if you could talk a little bit about what they are
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held in the arena in the theater itself and the folks back in washington are part of the conversation between the civilian and military people trying to set the course of the u.s. policy. there are a few stories about when that creates friction that i think our quite interesting. you told the story that i think you knew quite vividly from the time your father served as the centcom commander in the late 80's i believe between the chairman of the trade chief and the admiral ve was in the region in the naval forces in the call for your father was the site -- centcom commander. why was that important to the u.s. iran story that you are telling? >> guest: it is a fascinating story, and as you say, it illustrates back that there isn't a uniform view in the
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military was alone how to approach iran. the issue was between james come he was described to me by the chief of the needle operations of the time as the most insubordinate man that he would ever know but also grudgingly agreed thinker, one of those people that thinks outside of the box to use the of reduced metaphor but he had never gotten over the bombing of the u.s. marine barracks. he saw with a very good reason and we haven't responded to that. so he was advocating not only a very strident military policy but actual strikes against the iranians of the time. they had a good relationship. he was a very political military
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officer. he used to use the lions for a lot of his dirty work for the lack of a better word to deutsch thinks he didn't necessarily want to be associated with. and this was the case where they averell encouraged what he termed the window of opportunity plan which was an august 87 the rest of turnover of the aircraft carriers in the gulf, and winans wanted to use this plus the battleship that was about to arrive to punish the iranians. perhaps even use it as a way of assuring their regime change with the targets not just military. the other side of this was the centcom commander my father pretty much supported by caspar weinberger and the civilians and the pentagon a few well outside of the joint chiefs of staff who felt that the answer with the iranians was more of a containment you and we don't
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want to escalate the crisis. if they do something we will do a sort of restraint measure operation and avoid striking the mainland with the object to keep the crisis in the checks but doesn't go to a full-blown war so we would drive them back by seizing the platforms and things like that. escalating the conflict. so if they do something provocative we would respond proportionately. they clashed with in the pentagon. what happens is a series of events happen that carry the deployments and eventually get to the secretary of defense weinberger's attention who essentially sides with those who think he's been insubordinate and he fires them. in the middle of all of this, admiral crowell, the guy that would privately encourage him in the transcripts of the phone
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conversation between orleans and craughwell are quite convincing. the entire time in the sort of surreptitious military operation doesn't back him up and he says i know nothing. so he takes the fall for something but the chairman had actually encouraged. >> interestingly. >> let's imagine the position of the low ranking military officer if you are serving on one of the ships based out of one of the countries in the gulf cooperation you understand that iran is perhaps the largest piece of the threat environment and they were not worried about the chinese might be worried about the somali pirates but in the scheme of things, iran moves the largest as a possible military requirement. how does the jr military
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personnel, how do they understand the policy? let's take a snapshot of something fairly recent. do they believe that -- if you are deployed for two or three years in the gulf region to you believe that a young military officer lonnie hill you see them as the enemy? how do you think they are conditioned to understand the u.s. policy? i guess what also helps is somebody that is deployed and one of the branches of the armed services how else do they get briefed and get the nuances right and whether they are supposed to be maintaining and containing? >> that is a good question. i'm not sure that sometimes even the senior officers have the same nuance for a difficult problem as described in this relationship between the peace and war between light or darkness. it's not an easy quite clearly.
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everybody sort of approach it that way. the average sailor probably doesn't have a good view of this nuanced view. a lot of them are based upon their interaction with the iranians themselves when they pass them on the water which is in some cases very professional. other cases the roudebush in regard their very noticed. the u.s. military does a very good job of trying to condition talking naval issues and most likely the army or the air force. but before they deploy, a series of workshops to kind of put them in this mind set devotee is this hostile, isn't it possible, is it smart, is it a revolutionary guard, does -- is he authored to tweak your nose and not really
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start a war or not? so, we try very hard to get the people conditioned in this environment. but it's a tricky situation. there is no doubt about it. and with no diplomatic relations last year at least according to the press accounts he reject it in opening which would have perhaps helped the problem that would quickly call the commander and say this is what we saw. >> and that is the incidence of the sea agreement that i know many of the u.s. naval commanders in the region felt that it would be sort of below the threshold, below the plug believe the big political but something very useful and pragmatic. >> absolutely. and i think if we could get to that step, it would help. it doesn't have anything to do with the grand geostrategic calculations for the way the government's view each other. the soviet union one of the
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tremendous at nurseries. it's something the navy's two. >> host: the reference to the cold war is useful to me and we will eventually get to the twilight shadow war, called for. how we ever stand the u.s. iran story. the cold war in some ways is a useful analogy there's pieces of the relationship that have that kind of coercive limits don't go any further it's evident. yet you can still -- at least in the cold war there was a political conversation that was going on. a political conversation that didn't suggest. but we had a very different world views, but we have the study channel and which we could communicate and try to not misunderstand each other's intentions and the cold war i would say it was very much to avoid a catastrophic war but that certainly this was framed
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as we are adversaries, we have different goals for the international system. the trick with iran is that it is an asymmetrical relationship. they do not appear adversary and they never will be. they understand that i think. but, so therefore they are more likely to interpret our intentions of hostile even if we think we are just managing the problem. they are more likely to perceive it as having a disproportionate adverse affect on them. so, let's fast-forward to iran's nuclear program being now the big threat that is a story in the 80's, kind of naval and the tanker war max of the secondary effect of the iran-iraq war with lebanon and it's fairly locally contained but over the last decade the buildup has been something that has larger geostrategic consequences. as iran's mccuish activity. so i think of that from the u.s. navy perspective.
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we've been talking a lot about the navy but preparing for the thinking and or the developing capabilities for a possible requirement that the president would set to said that iran speak of nuclear activities or to prevent them from crossing that line would entail different parts of u.s. military and you talk to us about that as planning for what are some of the contingencies right now our formula is all options on the table we want a diplomatic solution. we don't seek a. we hope for a much to avoid the president who's tried to get the balance right still believing that iran has a choice to make of politically resolving its dispute with the international community about its nuclear activities. what about that planning side? imagining we have to use other
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measures? >> i think the view is hopefully we won't go down that path. there is time for diplomacy. i think that the diplomatic opening of the president is correct and iran has a unique ability taking this to the brink and then reversing the course and working a compromise. i hope that is the answer. they are prepared for any contingency be of iran or elsewhere. there's the robust system in the gulf today. there's the new patriot system we just deployed more minesweepers of the call for the countermeasures we have the largest number of those since desert storm of the gulf today. there is the one uncertainty
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that we have in the middle east we don't know the next crisis is going to be. obviously i think the military has thought through the problem. i think that we are probably smart about militarily about dealing with iran as we have been in 25 years. but it's not only iran, it is a number of other potential problems. >> host: the policymakers are framing the period ahead and they have a choice to make in the solution for a different outcome. one argument is that nabhan after the war in iraq and afghanistan and would be hard for us to pull off the military operation on the scale that iran would acquire since they are a country that is remembered three times the size of iraq and more important in the geopolitics of the region, a very important
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energy producer, etc.. it's just as a very practical matter it's assumed that operations are with respect to iran's the clear activities would entail the air force more than the navy or the army and so within the military navy there is the argument about could we do it and what are the capabilities that might be different than the public conversation. >> i think if there is a conflict of any sort be a miscalculation or otherwise it will be a joint war. we don't fight the army navy air force anymore. i think under any circumstances you are going to see every element of the services involved in that. the energy we have to think after ten years of the war when it comes to a lot of this, the
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political insight that was done even in 2002 there are nasty fights between the air force and the army for example over how to run things and losing control a lot of those have gone away. so, i think that we have worked out a lot of the kinks as far as how to fight the modern and joined war. >> host: you mentioned the relations with of the gulf countries, and i wonder whether we should spend a little bit of time reflecting on the security requirements and what are their expectations. you said that their capabilities to join us both in deterring iran and possibly having to go further have improved and change over time. so i wonder if we could say a little bit more of how well we could coordinate with the country's in the end of the size of the u.s. and the capability
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of the u.s. are so qualitatively different for quantitatively and qualitatively different, but i wonder if you have the impression they would expect to participate and be a full partner if both in the deterrent or the containment strategy in the strategy that might require more forward action. >> guest: they obviously have the most with any conflict in iran. you raise a great point because one of the enduring constance is if you will i think it comes throughout the book at different phases is the desire to partner with the gulf cooperation council states. the first instance i ever found of us trying to work with them and trying to forge a sort of cohesive bomb was in 1982 where the defense department pushed very hard. the late 80's we start working
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on the air defense system. it's all aimed at iran at the time in the air defense system in case they decide to attack one of the states. this comes up again in the late nineties when the threat seems to rise again after the towers so we start working with the gulf countries again trying to forge a cohesive bond come and of course we have been doing it back again. it really is a partnership. if you look at the early debates about how the u.s. military was going to operate in the middle east back to the carter administration there is an enduring constance that we cannot do this alone. we have to have partners in the region, and it's not only for this base and access, but it's also need the resources, we need people to help us. >> host: here we have iraq and
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somehow between the media trying to do both, but you know, iraq was our enemy, it was our friend, it was back-and-forth come back and forth. the countries don't get along well at all. i think that they quite profoundly disagree about whether iran is a good guy or a bad guy. so how would you imagine here we have engaged and be tried to modernize the military and we've made a huge investment in bringing the iraqi institutions back. how would you imagine the iraqi is playing in the contingency with iraq? >> guest: i would say that is a completely unanswered question. i think that iraq is in a transition period and i think there is hope that eventually the gulf states will come around. there is the issue that is the fundamental divide on the mistrust of iraq. but on the other hand, iraq is
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not iran. they are not persons. even in maliki, prime minister maliki who's been there at various times that is supportive of the recount ryan crocker is sitting down and says they are watching i think the president ahmadinejad speaking in farsi and morality means a translator and he spent a lot of time in iran in the 1980's peace i'm surprised that you didn't know farsi. he says my god you don't know what life is like what it is like to be a second-class citizen. so that tension is there. i think it is just too early to tell how they play out and fit into the larger culture less. >> him with if you look at the
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crisis they are along that sectarian fault line more than on the arab fault line. that is quite interesting. i wanted to catch up on one story that is more recent from the 80's and the 90's. let's do this at the very end of george w. bush's presidency. this curious incident where some british naval officers were, you know, captured by the nrcc forces in the gulf and taken to iran and was such a dramatic moment and, you know, lots of memories of the hostage crisis came back. here are the brits, our closest ally working in the coalition in the gulf period. how did that play out in terms of the issues that you talk about, how did the u.s. military look at that and by u.s. military versus back in
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washington for their options here could that story have gone a different way? was the u.s. and important player in how the crisis resolved and where they were released after a few weeks? >> guest: that is a very pivotal moment i think in the current thinking about the pyrenean problem -- iranian problem. there is a british naval partner that was inspecting or essentially looking for smugglers of the coast of iraq the longstanding mission that we have been doing for a long time looking at ships in the northern gulf. while they are doing this it was right and fairly close to the boundary, the military boundary between iran and iraq. in fact the boundary is based on the entrance which is the water. the divide of the countries the shift of overtime.
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so, the british were convinced they were on their side of this invisible line. the revolutionary guard commander and the couple of votes on his own initiative without any orders from his injury aggressive young officer comes storming of almost while the british were still on the ship he essentially instigates the crisis, trains the weapons, and the british decide rather than risk bloodshed that they would capitulate when the incident happens to come back to the name of cosgrove, vice admiral cosgrove in anbar ran at the time and he looks at the options we have been tracking where they were taken of the votes right on the opposite side of the iran-iraq border, the small base again and we are
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looking at trying to do something about it. he is essentially told by the british, the naval commander my instructions are we are not going to escalate this crisis. now, there's an interest in tava -- tehran if they have a host of british sailors and a few marines and they are not sure what to do about that and they make the decision to bring tehran handle the sudden they realize this is a great propaganda victory. they tweak the nose of the british that the iranians have never liked what they see as the colonial interference etc., and this is a way of tweaking and they eventually release them. the rest of the u.s. military had what happens afterwards. this naval commander who did this without borders suddenly goes from the equivalent of a junior officer to a very senior
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commander. he is now one of the naval district commanders. the u.s. military learns this initiative in the the behavior serious risk taking. of the british decided to resist the would have had a fire fight that could have led to a much wider conflict in the northern gulf. and so, it figures into a whole view of revolutionary guard, and maybe they are quick to operate without orders and quick to shoot because the systems are rewarding that sort of behavior. >> host: i think it's an important story if we see those as we gather more information and understanding about the behavior it is harder and harder for us to siggerud, you know, where are the points of entry to have a more productive and a more constructive conversation with the iranians, but i think for the most part we still have
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to keep trying and looking for those opportunities but as we said earlier it is about the strengthening role with the irgc come and perhaps the kind of built in magic of defiance that is now a part of the iranians in the past we believe as you said earlier the experiment they will back off and maybe you can't assume that is the pattern for the foreseeable future i thought to end with the discussion even the title of the book how do we wrap up the story and understand its implications for the future? when i first read the book, i sensed that there was, you know, every time there is another one of these episodes but in the united states and iran it kind of digs a hole that there is
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indemnity here that we cannot quite overcome. and i guess i am reading in between the lines i thought that maybe the larger message of the book was kind of an inevitability of conflict is the story and that despite efforts to refrain the u.s. iran relationship this is where we are heading. as i hear you talk i would come at a different conclusion and a different view in that in some ways the twilight war is not intentional. it is almost by default. it's just a series of players that move was in destruction. others policy present polls to try to change the dynamic of the u.s. and iran relationship. but i wanted to get your thoughts on whether would you think that the twilight war has become by default the reality that we have or whether the twilight war is a condition that
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can be changed and that it's not real war it's not a declaration of the war, we don't have the names, and so how you take this story in the first 30 years and can't imagine what is the next chapter. you're a historian, so i know you probably don't want one of those, but i just want to -- help us think about what twilight war means is it a permanent condition and how do we -- is it subject to change? >> guest: regardless of how the p5 plus one talks come out, i see this issue as a symptom of the problem, not mislead the problem itself. the problem is 30 years of distrust of the enmity between the two countries.
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the iranian revolution installed one of the pillars of the anti-americanism, and the young man that overthrew shah, a very popular american dictator now gray in their beards but they haven't changed and uzi the hardening rise of the revolutionary guard where a lot of these recent casino levels this attitude prevails, coalescing they seem to be on the rise as opposed to the others that seem to be more pragmatic and moderate over the years. so the bottom line is i don't see the ultimate attention to the united states of iran and changing while the supreme leader is around to see what happens in the next supreme. i don't see it changing until the revolutionary generation goes. now, having said that, that doesn't mean war and one of the things i find interesting about the history is the amount of, you know, we talk about how
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often we move to the darkness or to the potential conflict. we have also had a number of opportunities to move to light. there have been openings in the ronald reagan administration and perhaps one of the better ones was george h. w. bush's administration. it looks like we might have traction after that iran iraq war after 9/11 where there was a considerable amount of talks with iran to release of the potential is there. the bottom line is we can manage the crisis, but the problem will be there. so i don't see that going away anytime soon because i think we have different views of the future in the middle east. >> host: i'm with you there and i went to thank you for this conversation and best of luck with the book. >> guest: thank you very much. appreciate it. ..
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he talks about the air ofh prohibition, as well as the presidential elections of 1948. >> a week before the convention there was this crazy quilt offoe coalition of democrats, southery segregationists like richard russell, strom thurmond hern segy
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bosses like boss haze of jersey or jake harvey of chicago, liberals like hubert humphrey, members of the roosevelt family. they all said that we won't bite. i cause back again. there is another explanation of why truman pulled this off, even though everyone is so wary of him. i can't repeat his words, but when he hears the words of the truman or eisenhower collapsing before the convention, he says, well, you tell those people that any link who sits behind his >> historian david pietrusza tonight at 8 p.m. eastern here on c-span2.
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>> and now kitty ferguson talks about physicist stephen hawking's life and work. the process of writing his biography, from princeton university in new jersey, it's about an hour. >> well, it's a pleasure and privilege to have been invited to talk to you about stephen hawking, and about my experiences writing a book about him. "stephen hawking," or as it's called, stephen hawking, his life and work. some of you may already know hawking's science will. and nearly everybody has something about him as a person. is this ability -- his disability, his legendary courage, his unlikely celebrity, and then a few ugly rumors about him as well. but he's more than a legend.
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he actually is a real person. and it's been my luck to get to know him just a little bit. i wouldn't claim to be aggregates and i'm a. i think you might be inaccurate to say that more than two or three people no stephen hawking well. even they have their doubts. the way he communicates through his computer using their keywords which takes him a long time to produce means there's always something of a difference. and he doesn't get very much away. he says exactly what he wants to say, and no more. furthermore, he has no body language, and his synthetic computer voice conveys no emotion whatsoever. when you're sitting within you often wonder whether he is telling a joke or not. but he does have facial expressions still.
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and the people who made that star trek episode with him had him playing a poker game with isaac newton, albert einstein and star trek's data, those people were amazed at the variety of his facial expressions which doesn't sound to me like it would recommend that self highly for a poker game. and evidently he impressed them with it. he lost some of the mobility since then, but he still has the great big wonderful grin. the history of my book, this book, started 18 months ago when phantom transworld, who was my publisher in great britain, as many to update a little book that they have published back in 1991. 20 years ago. called "stephen hawking: quest for a theory of everything." at that time they have published
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that as a paperback and it had become a times bestseller in britain. what they wanted now was for me to update it, maybe add and update chapter and change it all of it so that they could make it into an e-book, which had never been done before. i began to work on it and soon realized that it will update and a little tweeting of the earlier chapters really wasn't going to do it. and ended up writing a whole new book which cannibalized the old book. critical of him in some places, not completely complementary, but he did give his blessing. however, he did not have any control about what i said in a. i did let him read it, of course, and i passed by him all the quotations that would be used. but that's the only control he really had over it.
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but so much have happened since 1989, so much science, so much new to about relationships and= his life, so much material about the events in his life had happened before 1989 that i'd cover to an old book, this had to be completely a new book. now, the research for this book was not entirely in scientific papers, scientific journals, books, interviews, newspaper articles in britain and in america. my husband is an academic, and his field is global studies, global economics, global history, everything to do with globalism. and we had many friends who go on sabbatical. during the 20 years since i wrote that first book about since -- stephen hawking, all these friend sent me clippings from all over the world. i put them away in a box and last year i got out the box. so that my bibliography include
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things like south china morning news, the west australian, the hindu times, things like that but you might get the impression that kitty ferguson really does exhaustive research all over the world, but it's all thanks to those clippings that were sent. another slightly unorthodox source was cambridge england itself because my husband and i lived there for part of every year now, and we've been going there ever since we first went there on sabbatical ourselves in 1986. we know that town well and we know a lot of people there. and everybody -- everywhere you go you encounter people who have little story to tell about stephen hawking. i'm likely people. the woman who cuts my hair has a relative who was working as a carpenter on a house when stephen hawking wheelchair slipped on the ice and turned over. this young man was the first to
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get tim and kevin with his jacket and call the emergency people. someone else had an automobile accident at the driver of the other car was -- a lot of people at the college where affiliate. recall carrying stephen up and down the stairs there before the college had an elevator and was called the astronomy group at that time. all these little incidents, it's not gaza. is just interesting little incidents. stephen hawking has lived in that town for 50 years, and it is a small town. one challenge in writing this book was to be certain i was writing the book "stephen hawking: an unfettered mind," and not the legend of stephen hawking. i think any blogger for has an almost irresistible urge to
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fictionalize their subject. and i do wonder what i did. because it's even more of a problem when is a historical subject, but they get all the information together that you can't and do the best you can. when it's somebody that still live you really have a certain obligation to them to make it a little more real, to keep it a little more authentic. and i had the vantage of going in fairly often to talk with him, not a lot but occasionally when i have new book coming out, i would take him a copy if i question, i was going for for that purpose. so that when i was writing this book, i would see him in person. and i would think about what i had written about him, and i would think by now, it isn't quite right. i've gone a little bit of straight from the real stephen hawking. i've fictionalized him a little
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bit. it's so easy to do. a choice of award, the tone of a paragraph, the urge to make something just a little more dramatic or a little more funny. it's so easy to do and so hard to resist. i also felt obliged to respect a certain extent, to a large extent really, his own interpretation of himself in the way you wouldn't do with a historical figure. some reviewers have taken me to task for writing i'm too uncritical biography. what they would like i think is a biography that i might write 15 years after he died, when you really can step back and evaluate a person a little better than you can when they are still alive. but it's not uncritical. it's critical in places. i wondered what he would think of certain things. he's known to get very angry with writers, people who try to interpret his life, but there
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was no mushroom cloud over cambridge, england, at my invitation to the 70 for the party was not revoked. so i think it passed muster, or else didn't read it all. now, many of you know that i'm not a mathematician or scientist by training, although science and mathematics have been part of my life since i was a small child. my degrees are in music from the juilliard school, and very often asked why it was at age 48 that i suddenly decided to put all that aside and start writing books and lecturing about science, science history, and scientists for the popular market, for intelligent people who are not scientists. we all fear that the semi-a connection between music and mathematics. but you don't often hear of the musician decided to write a science book. not unheard of.
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some people have said perhaps juilliard had a really outstanding physics department. but that's not the reason. that's not it. i never took physics at juilliard. but was reading a brief history of time that was the watershed in my mind. i had to work at a little bit but i understood and i truly enjoyed -- my husband is to mystified, remembering he would watch me giggling while i read it. but it's an enjoyable book, a lot of funny things in the and i must have shared my enthusiasm for the science with my daughter, my eight year-old daughter, because she decided to do a science fair project on black holes. she went to the library and she came home with several books on black holes and said -- that were appropriate for her age but she also brought home, you know that big black book called
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gravitation. you know that book, yes. now, she is very intelligent. well grown up now, and she's something of a whiz in genetics and biology, but it eight years old she wasn't a prodigy and there was a lot of things she didn't understand. but we talked about it a lot, and then we danced around the living room pretending we were photons, pretending we were particle pairs, in a black hole. and the upshot was that caitlin really came up with an award-winning project. it was a wonderful project. and i decided to write a book for children, young people her age and a little bit older, about black holes. as an aside, mentioned that specifics conference that preceded stephen hawking's 70th birthday party in january, i met -- i met john
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wheeler, did know him quite well but i had met charles. so i met him. im conversation i met him and mentioned are dancing around the living room, and he seemed quite delighted by the. and he said, i think that's probably the only time in my book has been choreographed. and i'm sure it was. but anyway, yes, i decided to write a children's book on black holes. and that decision led to my first meeting with stephen hawking that it wasn't easy to get an appointment. i got in touch with his secretary, his personal assistant, sue at that time, and she kept saying yes, i will make an appointment and get back, but this continued not to happen. to the point where it became embarrassing to keep phoning her about it. and i decided to try an end run.
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i knew that he often worked late with this graduate assistant in his office, after nearly everyone else had left, and i suspected that any evening, like the phone that would normally just ring in her office would ring in his office. i gave that a try. sure enough, a graduate assistant answered and he was right there with stephen hawking, and i told him what i wanted and he said well, i'll ask steven and i get back to you. and i thought well, that's the end of that. but about two minutes later he phoned back and he said stephen would be happy to help you if you want to commit to more at 5:30. this was quite interesting but one thing led -- i had kind of -- was just getting over the flu at the time, was afraid of taking him germs. i quickly went to the doctor the next want to make sure i wouldn't be taking any germs to stephen hawking. and also i do remember this, this affected my voice so i was
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talking like that. i think i sounded like jackie kennedy. but anyway, so there i was, 5:30 the next day, arrived. it was a dark night already. it was november and the common room where they have pra and the day was completely dark except for just a little outlined light around stephen hawking's office door. the young lady who brought me from reception showed me the way there. caused, and i said, shall i not? and she said i haven't the slightest idea. and i thought, is he that frightening? this is ridiculous. but i thought this is a little bit -- i felt a little bit like dorothy going to visit the "wizard of oz" for the first time. it was very intimidating but i'd usually come when you go to visit stephen hawking you to have somebody refute a little bit. is pa. or his graduate assistant
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will tell you that you don't sit across, across the desk from him. there is a chair that but you don't sit the. you sit beside him so you can both see his computer screen what he is choosing the words to make up his sentence. you are also told that you don't kind of second-guessing. let him find the words. you let him finish his sentence. even if you know very well where he is going and you know it will take in 10 minutes to get there, you wait. but once he has created those sentences across the bottom of the screen, you don't have to wait for him to cause his computer voice to say. he can continue the conversation at that point to this kind of thing. i did know any of that, and the only other person there that evening was a young man, one of his nurses, but this young man was also there for the first time that evening so we were both equally ignorant.
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and there was stephen hawking looking even more devastatingly disabled than i had expected. but i waited. i wasn't sure whether i should start a conversation, but this time he was doing, controlling his computer with a little handheld mouselike device, clicking that a little bit so i waited. then his voice said hello. and things just became more comfortable than. obviously, he was comfortable with this very odd is our situation, so i was, too. very quiet because no one was talking. waiting for his words on the screen. it's very quiet, peaceful, but at the same time very charged with energy. and you just hear the little mechanical noise. well, one of the reasons i want to talk to him was because i'd
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been -- i had come up with some questions that they did know the answers to, so i thought i'd better talk with them. and i don't flatter myself to think that these are such a advance questions. i had a finger such naïve questions that they were having trouble answering them. i think it's a more difficult for research to to answer real naïve questions than it is for someone who is more experienced. i always found john wheeler at cambridge perfectly happy to answer the most naïve questions. he was always good at that. but anyway, as our little interview went on, i ask stephen whether i might read in something a bit of this book that i was writing. and i began to read it, and as i read it i thought to myself that it sounded so stuffy and boring, and i stopped and i apologize. and i said, i'm sorry it sounds so stuffy and boring, but this is my first book, and my editor
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says that serious bias and must be treated seriously. and stephen hawking answered, it should be fun. and i said i know it should be fun, but i don't know how to convince my editor. and so he clicked a little more, and the oracle spoke, tell him i said so. [laughter] as you might guess i didn't have any problem with my editor after that. he knew how many books stephen hawking -- but this is more than just an enduring little anecdote. because it should be fun in the spirit in which stephen has done all his science to its dispute in which which he has conveyed that science too many people who have no scientific background, many young people. he doesn't just try to explain his science. he tries to take us along us on
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an adventure. that's the way he works. now, i had sort of a backstage experience of all that wind come in 2000 he was writing "the universe in a nutshell," and my publisher in new york, also his publisher in new york, asked me whether, they actually hired me to help edit the book. and my duty was to help them make it simpler. help them make it more easy to understand. stephen was okay with it. i did know how he would take that, especially since when is editor their symphony is draft part of the book, and i've been try to help her understand that this was going to make a book. she had some doubt as to what is going to fit together. and i made little clauses in the margin all through the, and some of them were not complemented. she sent the whole thing to do. and i thought this is ridiculous. anyway, he was okay with it. so we worked together by e-mail
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for a couple of months, and then i went, i was in the united states than. then i went over to cambridge to spend a couple weeks there with him in his office. so there we were, again facing the screen where he was choosing his words. and another screen which had a manuscript of the book on it. i prepared very tirelessly for this by knowing exactly which phrases, which paragraphs and so on i was going to bring to his attention. so he scrolled down and got to the sense and i said stephen, i think the words there are too much physics jargon. i think that needs to be stated in everyday words, if you can do that. so heard this little clicking increase in his voice said it seemed clear to me. and i thought we really are in trouble. this is not going to work. then i looked over at him and i saw this big smile and he's
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looking at me like, he was going to see how i was going to take the. i knew he was carrying me on. and it all worked very well. he was very conscientious taking my advice about what would be too difficult. i also prepared ahead of time many ways, ways that i would write it to make it simpler. analogies, suggestion. and edwin suspected -- he didn't take any of my suggestions. he did it all himself all the way, which i get very upset when people say i helped him write that book or heaven forbid i collaborate with him and they do that sometimes with people, talking, some reviewers of the book. that's not true. all i was was a guinea pig. i was a person to try it on and see where it needed to be simpler. but if you think that book turned out very well, and i like to think i did contribute something to it by telling him
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what needed to be simpler. so, when people ask me, you know, what is that has one and all the worldwide attention, they can such a popular figure, such a well-known figure, and made such a celebrity, one of the things i do point to is the way that he does make his science such an adventure but that doesn't explain it all, of course. i think another part of the, the area of science he works in, is part of science, does conjure up a sense of wonder. a sense of trading any borderland of human knowledge. black hole's, origin of the universe, questions of whether the loss of innovation and black hole's undermines physics. the possibility that our
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universe is one of perhaps infinite number of universes connected by wormholes perhaps. he dares to venture into tears to try to take us with them. where the known meets the unknown, and perhaps the unknowable. the outpost that john used to call the flaming ramparts world. it borders on science fiction to us, but stephen was asked what he had written science fiction, and his answer was, i hope not. at his 60th birthday party 10 years ago, his colleague, gary gibbons, in his tribute quoted a poet robert browning saying what a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what is a heaven for? gibbons wasn't implying that stephen had gotten him behind
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his depth and should be forgiven for. at least i don't think that's what he meant. but stephen past daunting, argument unanswerable questions. things like what is it that goes into the equations and makes the universe for them to ascribe? what is there something rather than nothing? why does the universe go to the bother of existing? these are questions that straight into philosophy and religion. they are are questions that more cautious, sensible science seldom asks. they are largely irrelevant to the everyday person. and even though the cover of this book with a lyric in his most recent book, the grand science, promises that this book will tell us ultimate answers, it doesn't actually and stephen goes on asking the question, everything is still going on saying i long to know these answers.
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also, in that same book he writes that it is meaningless to ask whether the answers he proposes or anyone else proposes at that level really represent reality. and all which causes his poor dog -- or dogmatic statements in the office next to the media seem a little not quite stephen hawking. whether you agree with him or not, seem a little earthbound, a little too glib, more so than he usually is. but it wouldn't be correct to stop at the sides and try to explain his appeal. he would probably wish it otherwise, but his disability and he's more than that, the astonishing good-humored way he simply dismisses that disabili disability, are a vital part of his public image. the author oliver sacks who wrote the awakening and the madame mistook his wife for a hat, wrote about a kind of
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health, strength, and grace that go beyond the death of any illness, and he could have been describing stephen hawking. another of the questions i am frequently asked about stephen is what is his most significant contribution to science? i believe in most of his academic colleagues would say that it would be his establishment that black holes emit black body radiation, also known as hawking radiation. this was an unexpected discovery back in the 1970s, unexpectedly steep, certainly unexpected to the rest of the scientific community. it took some time to be accepted. he got some ridicule at first, but it has stood the test of time and is likely to stand tests of more time. since then, his work has become more speculative.
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testing big ideas, throwing out mind-boggling suggestions and proposals, and dealing with is more fundamental questions. for instance, his and jim's no boundary three for the origin of the universe in which any very, very early universe, the dimension that we think of time, as time, was forced dimension. now, stephen seemed today from a lot of what he has written, to assume that the proposal is correct, and that it is safe to build other theories on the no boundary condition as he calls it. great majority of his colleagues i think would not agree that it is that -- don't accept it to that degree. some of his other proposals and that's her, the wormholes and
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all that. these are pretty speculative things. his comment to his colleague kip thorne, that i would rather be right than rigorous signals a shift in his way of doing science. what he meant was he had taken too long trying to underpin everything with unassailable mathematics, you're liable to miss the forest for the trees, that he prefers to perhaps be 90% certain and then move on. his latest ideas haven't received the same level of acceptance as hawking radiation is. at least not yet. but they do serve a certain different purpose. he throws out these ideas and everybody stories about them because a lot of interest, a lot of that to be. a lot of people who do a lot of mathematics and calculations see what stephen is writing. so it's not all for nothing but
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it's not just throwing out science fiction. and in spite of his tendency to become more speculative, one of his recent contributions with james hartle and thomas, this was something that he insisted had to be in my book but it was something i really hadn't realized it done and wanted -- pointed me to the papers and said it is there. was to suggest the way of determining evidence actually available in our universe from the cosmic microwave background radiation depicted on the school, determine from evidence whether or not our universe is part of a multi-universe suggested by the eternal inflation. so it's not all just wild speculation to be actually made a proposal that can be tested or potentially can be tested. we have to wait for the data from the planck satellite, and maybe even satellites beyond
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that. but it's possible perhaps to test it. in my biography, i'd intermingle sections having to do with hawking's personal story and decides to not only chapter by chapter, little bits of this all intermingled. so you have a sort of personal story line that you expect from a biography beginning with his childhood in a loving, very eccentric family lived in a drafty spooky house in england, following him through his childhood, teenagers, his wild pitch -- is days at oxford and then interest for sheer the graduates to at cambridge when he was diagnosed with motor neuron disease, lou gehrig's disease. in his courtship of jane wilde, better to be jane hawking, a very moving story because it took place in the context of his coming to terms with this
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disease, and are coming to terms with it. not only with the disease, the disability but the process which seemed was going to be a very early death. he was only given two years to live. then he goes on to children, the birth of his children, the failure of the first marriage, his second marriage, all the things you expect from a via cookie. i've also included descriptions of my own experience with them, which i mentioned already. and that's just a cornucopia of science in the book, not only his science but a science that has most interested in and most influenced him, and then there's all sorts of all the wonderful bets that he's made with his colleagues, will they find -- is information entry that was lost. so many depths.
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i keep encountering deaths and then you hear about his failing them, always a document with his thumb print on. this is a big activity. and i've explained the science and what i hope is a slightly simpler level and he is explained in his own books. it's one of my great joys to find ways to explain things simply come in ways that can be understood. my father was a musician but he also loved mathematics and science, and whenever, he'd read a lot of science. and what he said was that he never felt he really understood anything unless he could explain it to us kids. and this is when i was about nine years old. if he couldn't explain it to us, he didn't really understand it. and also, a real inspiration to
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me has been john wheeler here at princeton. and the way he always did a little drawings and thanks to explain things. one of the greatest confluence i ever had was to have john wheeler broke one of my drawings up on his office door. he didn't put it up there to show what shouldn't be done. but one of my favorite reviews was one that appeared in periodicals i think was called the taxi drivers time, and this review said, this was a review of my first stephen hawking book in 1989. it said, set up a book, this is the book that tells us what the bloody hell a brief history of time was all about. for those who never made it past chapter two. and then i thought, well, i hope that 22 years later, i'm still capable. that's kind of an explanation. if you follow stephen hawking
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science, chronologically through his life, as i've done in this book, rather than getting sorted piecemeal as we often do, you discover that he has some rather healthy habits of pulling the rug out from under his own discovery, and his own assertion. i said once wrote that all the stereotypes that have plagued men and women of science, surely one above all has brought harm. science can be dashing scientist can be painted as evil, bad, cold, self-centered, absent-minded, even square yet survived easily. unfortunately, they are often pictured as right. that can distort the picture of science past redemption. whether or not you agree with that, stephen hawking is certainly seem to have done his best to erase that stereotype,
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by changing his mind so quickly. in his dissertation in the 1960s, he concluded that the universe has to have begun as a single energy, everything was compressed to a point of infinite density, curvature. the laws of physics and all hope of a scientific explanation breaks down. however, in the 1980s, he returned to contemplating the early universe with james hartle, this time bringing in power for resources from quantum theory, and discovered that using imaginary time, which is a mathematical device which allows a time dimension to become more of a space dimension, chronological time loses all meaning. the singularity is smeared away, and the universe doesn't really have a beginning. meanwhile, he had discovered
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that the border of a black hole can never get smaller. and then with hawking radiation discovered that it could get smaller. and the upshot of that was another reversal. after years insisting that everything that happened has happened or ever will happen, determined by either god or a theory of everything, he came up with something called the information paradox. he threw a curve to his colleagues with this one. the question is, what happens when a black hole grows smaller, smaller and smaller and eventually disappears entirely? what happens to the things that were trapped inside it? what happened to the star that collapsed, where does it all go? and stephen was insisting that all of this information trapped in a black hole was lost
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irretrievably from our universe. now, naïvely thank god that's not really a problem, is it. a star that collapsed into gases, traditionally a few unmatched socks are in there or an astronaut who should have gone in the first place, should have known better, but this is pretty trivial when you talk about having lost to the universe. but that's not the case. such information lost threatens to undermine the whole of -- and much of our every digital flight. the predictability that science depends on as well as reliance on a dependable way, or potentially undermined by a loss of information from our universe. now, in 2004 hocking came up with what he felt was a solution to this problem. so it wouldn't have to worry about it anymore.
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but some of his more trusted colleagues such as roger penrose felt his arguments for the information paradox, the more powerful than a solution. but if all this rug pulling were not enough, it all seemed minor in contrast to trenches most recent announcement, that he suspects that it is not going to be possible for anyone ever to discover a fundamental theory of the universe. a theory of everything. which is something he spent his life hoping for, but in industry, that qwest has fragmented. we can only know several approximations to the underlying theory. six approximations currently the way we think about it five in string theory and one in supergravity. but we don't know how to formulate underlying theory as a
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single set of equations, and arguably we never will. so that is a huge turnaround for him. and there's another change in his thinking. change in his attitude toward the anthropic principle for them, thinking, which in case you need reminding, the anthropic principle answers the question, why is the universe as we observe it? so perfectly fine tuned for the emergence of intelligent life and our existence. that fine-tuning, the origin of the universe is so precise and so unlikely as seems to be nothing short of miraculous. the anthropic ansa been in its simplest form to the question why do we observe the universe in this way is that if it were otherwise, we wouldn't be around to observe it at all or ask the question. now, stephen hawking's attitude
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toward the anthropic answer when he -- in the 1980s was that having it all just happened chance, having a stroke of good fortune, as he put it, a counsel of despair, a negation of all hopes of understanding the underlying order of the universe. but lately he's been attributed a great deal of power to anthropic thinking in something he calls his top down approach. when he and james hartle are developing or no boundary proposal in the 1980s, they use a device invented by richard feynman, and in the hawking-heart of use of this, it was tracing all parts of our universe and calculating which were more likely than others, which were more probable. it's not so easy to do that with the history of our universe.
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we don't have concrete knowledge about point a, the beginning, although we do know quite a bit about point b., where we are today. we can imagine a lot of possible point is, a lot of beginnings, but most of them will not be fine-tuned in the way we know our universe had to be in order to produce us as we are now at point b. so we need a very special, specific .8, it seems we do. so by what miracle west point a? stephen hawking recommends that we look at it all from a different perspective. what he calls his top down approach. tracing the alternative histories of the universe not from point a to point b., but backwards from the present time, from point b. to point a. our presence at point b., the fact that our being here, of our
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living in this universe, dictates which history this universe could and could not have had. in a sense, we create the history of the universe by being here, and by observing it. take, for example, the fact that we have four dimensions or four of survival dimensions in our universe them three of space and one of time. in m three, they would be no three dimensions of space but the range of possibility include every number from zero to 10 space dimensions, and even in some versions even more than one time dimension. our three dimensions of space and one of time may not be the most probable situation, but nevermind that, in top down thinking three dimensions of space and one of time only situations that give interest to
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us. considering the universe the old way, from the bottom up, there seems to be no discoverable resource why the laws of nature are what they are, and not something different. but we do observe the laws of nature to be what they are. and we are here, so hawking says why not start with that. our presence is usually significant. and as he re- states the anthropic principle, obviously when the beans on the planet that supports life examine the world around them, they are bound to found that their environment satisfies conditions that required to exist. such as this would by the fact that our -- would also choose the history of the earth and our cosmic environment that allows us to exist. that's the top down approach. now, you might expect hawking, this is his top gun cosmology
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that he is preaching now to say that we, the observers are the answer to the fundamental question why is there something rather than nothing, what is it that we desire into the equation that makes the universe within to describe? maybe we are the first car. made we don't even need a creator. our presence chooses and all the rest of it exists, and no other argument is possible, are required. but he doesn't use that argument. he doesn't use that in his book the grand design, and he didn't use that in the discussion he and i had in november of 2010. whenever i asked stephen a question, i tried to put in the form he can answer yes or no. but he doesn't usually stop it usually goes on and talks about it. i mentioned the question, what
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is it that we inspire into the equations make the universe for them, using top down thinking, is the answer up. and he answered no. that was the end of the matter. i wrote it would be interesting to hear him, a discussion with john with who of course is the longer with us. john wheeler proposed something called the observer dependent universe in which we can't have laws of physics, no laws of nature, no universe can exist, no less there are observers. makes you wonder if there were no observers, if we disappear from this, and there are no longer observers, will there be a universe anymore? is a very interesting question but it does say the same way of thinking desktop down way, way of thinking. now, -- this top down way of thinking. i have to read it because my husband's field is global studies.
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he's not a scientist but he's a very good example of the target audience really for my book, intelligent people who want science. he claims if he can understand can anybody can. but he read the close of the book where i quoted stephen hawking as saying something about if you still childhood never grown up, still ask how and why questions, and occasionally find an answer that satisfies them. my husband read that, occasionally find an answer that satisfies him, and i thought yes, i left it in the book. i thought that's exactly right. that's stephen hawking talking. find answer that satisfies him, but pretty soon he's off in a new direction. what would be stephen hawking's
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legacy wrecks what will -- anyone young enough to be alive maybe 30, 50 years from now is yes. what will we be saying about him than. i know what you would like to he would like to be remembered for his life. everybody says forget about the fact he had ever been disabled, that would be fine with them. i think of the author john milton wrote paradise lost. he wrote the committee was completely blind. but how may people actually know that? that's not what you think of with regard to john milton. i looked it up in wikipedia and there's no mention of his blindness until way down, many paragraphs. just mentioned in passing. and i thought wouldn't stephen levitt, to have himself remembered for his science and nobody even thinks about he was disabled. but what of his science? we don't know what will be remembered. will be no-boundary proposal
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ever become part of mainstream of theoretical physics and cosmology? or will it always be just interesting beautiful proposal that has never had that much impact or acceptance? will people go to the trouble, working around the information paradox? things like his invention, around the year 2000 it seems to be sitting on the shelf now with stephen harper paying any attention to the. so what about things like that? will he be remembered? i think that his legacy definitely will be twofold, if nothing else. first, the excitement he has generated about science and cosmology. when i attended the academic conference that preceded his 70th birthday back in january, encountered all the interesting conference because it had all the great eminences of his
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field, and it had all these young people, too. and among the young people there were physicists that already are really contributing, well known, at important universities, really doing exciting work. some of them are stephen's former students and some of them were not, again and again i heard them say, i heard someone say, he was reading a brief history of time and i was a teenager that got me into this view. that's why i'm working and cosmology and in science today. that's a huge legacy. that's a wonderful thing. and also, second, i think he will continue to be a towering example of courage and good humor in the face of overwhelmingly obstacle, a real-life demonstration that what human beings can accomplish, the kind of things,
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the kind of work they can do, how to great things can be accomplished. and life can even be splendid and it doesn't always have to be when the sun is shining and you in the teeth of health. as you may know, stephen hawking didn't get to his 70th birthday party. he was too ill. he was in the hospital. he was very, very seriously ill. indeed most people, every time this happens everybody thinks that's the end. this time it was worse than usual. but i just had an e-mail this week from his secretary that she put it, she or huge effort of determination, he is back in his office. the first time he is on a respirator most of the time which was not true before. nevertheless, he's intending in march to come over to texas. he's intending to go out to caltech or and this is a man who just won't be defeated by his physical problems.
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amazing. i'm the same age as stephen. i turned 73 weeks before he did come at the come at the detail and he better. so i won't be around 50 years from now. not unless we have a huge breakthrough in health. but as long as i am alive, i will remember how much his brief history of time, his passion for science, and defined it has been exploring all that science, and the fact that none of my eight books have been written if i'd never encountered him. his wonderful self mocking humor come and a wonderful smile that would light the universe. he really has had a tough road through life. if you talk of it in terms of a bridge game, he was now a ridiculous unbalanced hand, and he certainly made a grand slam of it.
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he set an example for all of us, and i know that not everything has done has been so laudable. he can be erika. in fact, he's a stubborn. he can be self-centered, and maybe he has to be self-centered to survive. but i've gotten to know him just a little, and i really like the man. so thank you. [applause] >> so, does anybody have any questions? if you are really one of my basic audiences, because they used to give talks that were called block calls for the scientifically inept and added to fit that category. but i would always say, you know, don't feel afraid to ask
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naïve questions. i'm sure no one here would ask a naïve question, but you're welcome to do it. also went to saint stephen hawking said window would ask a question that means either nobody understood anything, or everybody understood everything. this wasn't that kind of a lecture. yes? >> he has children speak what he does. he has three children. actually the same age of my children so they got to be 43, 44, 41 and 31 in age. [inaudible] >> his oldest son is in information technology. he has a degree from -- let's see which college in cambridge? he was a natural science major but i'm not sure exactly what --
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physics i guess but that's what he does now. and his mother, jane hawking, his interest in a was brought to him when he was just a kid and had a sabbatical at caltech, and he met another blogger who was really into that and that's what -- and that's what got them interested in a. when you go on sabbatical it becomes a watershed for the whole family, not just for students. that's when i started writing about science was when we went on sabbatical. our children all looked at that, too, as a watershed. and his daughter, his daughter has written a couple of children's books with stephen. they are called george books. georges cosmic avenger. george is key to the universe. they are wonderful books. you ought to have those in the library. do you have them? >> we will now. >> i recommend them.
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they are wonderful. they are fiction. they are about a little boy named george, and what's interesting is he meets a scientist who lives next door to him who is so clearly stephen hawking as he would be without his disability. it's so clearly, it's the same person, but anyway, then they have these adventures. it's sort of science fiction but there are huge sections of the book that are kind of removed from the book, those are the sections that are the real science. there's a lot about black holes, oh, there is things like that. they are wonderful books. they are really terrific. yes? >> you talked about this a little bit. didn't he get some notoriety for saying that -- he did believe in god? and sort of reverse himselfs
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you were saying. >> i don't think he ever said he believed in god. in the brief history of time, he talks about that because it wipes out the beginning. he wipes out the need for a creator. and he says some very atheistic statements to the media about belief in an afterlife as a fairytale because we're all really computers. and my computer gets up, it just dies. one reductionist idea of ourselves, computers. i think somebody said that, but you can take the whole intellectual content of the computers, put it on a memory stick. isn't that like reincarnation? but i did get a question about his religious belief when i talk -- when i gave a talk in
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cambridge. and i said stephen hawking, before i encountered him, i thought, the old statement that there are no atheists in fox holes. but when i said that i made a mistake and i said that there are no atheists in wormholes. it got quite a laugh from all this bunch of -- i'll bet there aren't. now, but he, let's see, what else has he -- he tends to make statements to the press. one thing that i would personally hate to see as part of his legacy would be to turn a whole lot of intelligent young people into unthinking atheists. i think still decisions of belief and unbelief deserve a lot of consideration, deserve a lot of investigation, deserve a
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lot of excrement patient actually. and shouldn't be made just because some charismatic speaker like stephen hawking makes statements to the media. i think that would be an unfortunate legacy. .. the leadership just before it the democratic ion, coalition of democrats southernt sessionh nationist who
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presidential candidate wanted to step aside for ike. big city bosses or jake of chicago. liberals like hubert humphrey.o members of the kennedy familyrv they go we want ike. ike draws back again.at w crashes the whole w thing. agai. there is another explanation of why truman pulled this off, even though everyone is so wary of him. i can't repeat his words, but when he hears the words of the truman or eisenhower collapsing before the convention, he says, well, you tell those people that any link who sits behind his
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after world war ii pioneering computer science built a precursor to modern computers at the substitute of advanced study at princeton. next historian and explains this period in technology logical history. he spoked at the computer history museum in mountain view, california. it's an hour and twenty minutes. finally before we get started. i have one, very special introduction tonight. i'd like to recognize on behalf of george akrevoe emmanouilides who is in the front row. akrevoe emmanouilides was hired as a secretary at the age of 16 to work for herman gold sign when he was working at the moor school on the project and when
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herman moved from the project to ias, to work directly with john and incredible team there, akrevoe emmanouilides went with him, and had a very distinguished career doing far more than simply being a secretary to herman. she was there at the creation and traveled tonight to be here for the program. akrevoe emmanouilides, would you please stand up? [applause] [applause] you're so tiny. i saw people in the back craning to see. you. we're delighted to see you. we may take some questions with akrevoe emmanouilides. and now tonight's program, the world inhabited princeton university by alan more than seven decades ago seems distance
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and inaccessible in many ways. george dyson's brilliant new book, the origins the "turing's cathedral: the origins of the digital universe" makes as relevant today. the world we inhabit is governed, powered, and driven by mere variation on the early code in the machines they envisioned and built. it would be simplistic to say that in the case the stories are important because as dyson writes, the digital universe and the hydrojen bomb. what was far more profound and what we will deal with tonight is the legacy and the implication of those fateful days. and at center of it, the man
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john, math guy, teacher, towering intellectual. ed war described him in a way, if a mentally superhuman race ever develop, the members will resemble john. this is not george dyson's first attempt to understand a both a technical and human level, the way we compo coexist and cocreate. he is the author of darwin among the means machines and he writes and speaks frequently on the subject. it's not totally his day job. as you know, in addition to being a science historian and a author he's a boat builder from his home in washington. please join me in welcoming george dyson. [applause] [applause] thank you very much. great to be here.
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welcome. >> thank you. >> so glad to have you here. >> great to be here. it's fantastic exhibit. they are just incomprehensibly god. >> thank you very much. and we're delighted you're hear among friends. these are your people, george. we're going have some fun tonight. [laughter] let's talk about first, the process of writing the book, you have an intensely personal connection to princeton and the advanced -- substitute of advanced study because of your father. and your mother. >> my mother was there first. >> absolutely. talk about that. what it was like to grow up and being among people at ias. >> well, you center to to be careful when a i said. far child, you know, for a young boy, it was not that interesting place because it was populately mainly theory and the most exciting thing was chalk
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boards. they used chalk boards at that time. there was no powerpoint. but there was this outbuilding off in the back, where julienne bigelow was building a machine. that's what interested me. i spent a lot of my time poking around and taking things apart that was discarded as scraps from the object. so that was. >> there's a famous story about your baby sitter being einstein's secretary. >> yeah. people behind every great man this there is somebody who keep tracks of things. that was helen, who was fantastically intelligent woman. she was einstein's search engine. [laughter] when einstein needed something helen knew where everything was. she department have her own children. se grew up in a fap family with 11 children. there was a huge number of
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family. she missed it. she adopted our family. she was their baby sitter and my job was to make her life difficult while she was trying to baby sit my sisters, and i owe a her, because i was being difficult one day and she said, settle down and read a bock. i said i have read all the books. and she went to the shelf and pulled out book and gave me this. read this. and that was the first adult book they read, and i, you know, that changed my life. >> that changed your life. >> she had the perception to see that. i adopt think it was an accident. i'm going give this kid this book. >> hanging out with this crowd, as a kid, did it become a natural thing for you to curious who they were about vonn now man and the meaning of computing. >> it came later thanks to
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esther who influence on community here. i started going to her technology conferences in the early '80s and i saw the whole world, you know, the world of personal computer was flourishing, and then i realized i that came from the outbuilding where i grown up. and i wanted to understand that. that's why i became interested in going back and finding out what happened. and i have to say outright that i am less interested -- i'm not trying to out who was first i'm trying to find out what happened. >> it's not a book about first. >> it's not first computer, electronic, high-speed electronic computer, it's not the first programmed computer, you can say almost it's at first computer with a fully random access memory.
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but even then there was a couple of that were first. first of nothing but it was the an seeser in the sense, it was the one that got copy. just like, you know, newton was the first iphone but didn't become the iphone. >> we have learned the hard way between the word first and computer there are about 19 adjectives. don't say first or invent. you're safe. >> you told me a fascinating story about the treasure-trove of papers you were allowed to get access to. some that hadn't seen the light of day since the mid 1940s. can you talk about that >> there were a number. the reason the book exists was people kind enough to let me in to their garages, their basements tbhbt case of institute, sort of their archives they had been very protective of their privacy, their private organization, and
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thanks to charles, who was one of your benefactor, which was charles who pushed the door open and said let george in have access to this stuff. i found amazing things. just -- you know, for something like me, it was just unbelievable to go there with my daughter, who is here with me, and we had a year i think -- she knows that every day i would poke around these dow.s all day and then come home and go back in the morning. because i normally work in archives, up to 48 hour and sleeping on somebody's coach and have to bag photocopier. it was amazing. >> you write about an amazing piece of paper you found, which looks like it was torn from a note pad and crumb med up and throne away and retrieved and uncrumb crumpled.
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>> it was in a paper that julienne bigelow was the engineer. most engineers save thing. he saved a lot of papers, when he died his family allowed me to sort of go through his papers. in there was a scrap of paper that on the top said "let a word be 40 be" that put it before the event. that's like 1946, before he binary digits, and i command and an address. 10 bytes binary digits for the command. to me, i haven't seen anything earlier that's the tablet let there be the command line. and then -- [laughter] from the rest of the world, you know, came from there. but where did these things start? and tomorrow someone may say i have a piece of paper in my
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basement that is 1943, but which is quite possible. they may well have -- you know, certainly did produce the same idea probably earlier. >> lots of amazing things come out of basements and graunches. >> yes. >> you found -- this is the last question about the process. akrevoe emmanouilides is here tonight because you encounter and amazing number of people who were there at the time, enwhat you could talk to as original sources. >> i was a little late. i should have done it ten years earlier but there were still enough people for left to get some first-hand -- i relied on a lot that was done by william at the institute and people thinking about this and gotterring the histories. >> "turing's cathedral: the origins of the digital universe"
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is i want to talk about john in a minute. let's talk about allen for a minute. and specifically let's talk about the tight of the book and how you came to call this book "turing's cathedral: the origins of the digital universe." okay. >> the other thing i just -- for context imagine it's 100 years ago sara is fives pregnant. young allen is just about to come on the scene. so i, you know, one of the god things about tour rig he left few papers. you can read everything he wrote. it's hope less to read everything he wrote. i read everything that touring wrote in 1950 he wrote the tremendously famous paper famous as 1936 paper on universal computation. there was a paper about artificial intelligence and he could see the critics coming,
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sort of like intelligent design, and, you know, if you're going create intelligent machines you're playing god and shouldn't go there. he made the statement that when we create these intelligent machines, we are no more creating souls than we are in the process of creating children. we are simply creatings mansion for the souls that only he can create. and i love that sentence, that phrase. when i went to 2005 i went google, i got invited in. it was sixty years of the project began commemorated that. the engineers gave me deep inside tour of what was going on. when i walked out of there, i was -- they were really truly doing everything that touring imagined a machine that could answer questions that anybody could ask. and i thought this is not
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touring's mansion this is his cathedral. that became the title of the book. >> yeah. >> and the second level is simply that the cathedral is built by large numbers of anonymous people whose names are not remembered but the cathedral remains. >> over many years. >> those are all the people who did the real work, and, you know, cathedral wouldn't be there without them. >> they did overlap at princeton while they were there doing the ph.d. >> for two years. >> how much is known about the interaction between them. >> we now how they interacted between 1936 and '38. at that time institute has dog in with princeton university. people say at princeton like the university. like the hoover institute is at stan stanford. at that time they didn't is a
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building they made a deal with the matt department. even though he was at the university they were shared office space. they had a lot of contact, and touring corrected the final proof. he had an influence on -- what happened during the war when he went off to england to work with the british and touring came to america to work with the americans. that part is a still a black hole. like a lot of stuff, it may may take a long time to come out. >> do you think? >> i think he was in england working on the nuclear work because the british made a lot of countries -- [inaudible] it came from britain i think he went over there to sort of jump start some of nap but i think he
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was so good at everything, that i can't believe they didn't bring him in to the cryptography question and he came back -- he forgotten things says explicitly, he actually celts his ideas about programming to a visit he took to a computation laboratory in england. he says that in writing. which lab -- it was he doesn't mention any of the work or anything like that. you wouldn't mention that. >> there are a couple of exchanges in the book maybe more are you cite discussions where he is apart with colleagues at the ias he explicitly says that's one of the things that touring was working. he was aware of the touring theory as he was working on the paper, and it was already -- the implication is already having influence on the thinking about
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this. >> yeah. yeah it was, i mean, he was a math mal mat call imagine in addition and he followed that stuff closely. i decided to do a little physical research rather than speculation, i went and went and found his copy of touring's pain and it's -- paper ands in in the institute library in one of the shelves you have to turn the cranks to turn them up because nobody guys in there. there are all of the volumes of the proceedings. they are there with perfect bindings. all in intact. there's one volume volume 42. all the pages fall out. it's falling apart because it fell apart. >> it's good evidence they tread. >> so let's talk about -- joins the academy, is a professor, the
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nazis begin to dismiss jews from the german academy. he redesigns, leaves and is appointed to the faculty at princeton. as he goes to the ias he encounters really a remarkable group who were already there, and really a remarkable intent yule intellectual atmosphere. an intelligent yule hotel. talk about that as he would have experienced it. >> the thing we forget, i mean, most people reremember the institute because of einstein and the nuclear physicist. people forget the institute had a very strong school in the history of art and school of classical i don't know how to pronounce it. and the school of archaeology. it was all this other culture there. of course akrevoe emmanouilides can tell you people like homer
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thompson. he was a model for "raiders of the lost arc." all of these people were there. it wasn't just math and physics. arc comes -- the position i had there was created for ts elliot. strange outside artist who allowed to do what comes in and does something that doesn't belong to the school. now they have a school of biology. it was a rich place. coming in the first place, he didn't come alone. he came with at that time princeton was not hiring jewish professors, and they couldn't hire him flat out. they found a loophole, there was no problem. they could hire two hung gare hungarians halftime.
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they couldn't hire one full-time. they could hire two part time. they offered them half. which was ten times what you could make in europe. they both got yes. that's how they got both those guys at one with. >> then we're going skip ahead slightly because i want you to talk a bit about how he wound up in loss al mous. >> yes. eastbound wound up there -- everybody wound up there. there was a, you know, almost a special train from new jersey. he did stay there. he transient most people went there. he didn't leave until the war was over. he couldn't have people go and leave. so if you went, you brought your family and you were there. he had a special pass where he could go in and out. and he had -- the prototype of
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all these great will bore stories there was a deal made that was explicit that he made. a deal with the devil. we will build this bomb, you have to let us, you know, we wouldn't tell you how to use the bomb if you don't tell us how to united use the science. we will be free to do the science we want in our spare time. so much good science came out of nap >> it was both challenging and invigorated by the intellectual process of trying to think through the complicated problem, but he was also increasingly as the project moved thwart forward deeply troubled. yes. >> yes, again that's what i discovered from most remarkable body of documents i found was in
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marina's it was next to the water heater, the filing cabinet. when i was in the filing papers went to the library of congress. this filing cab innocent didn't go. in there was everything from him and his wife. it give use a day by day firsthand picture what people were thinking at the time. >> he was using that as just a means of getting this out, right? his correspondents with his wife. >> it was like e-mail for us. he would have a full day and still write of 16 pages in fountain pen. they had a difficult marriage. she was doing the coding for the early bomb calculations. she might be working somewhere and he would be in another place in oak rich and the were written
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in hungary. they translated all of this. >> did you know that the secret trove of letters. >> i had no idea. i couldn't have imagined it. >> to me the most interesting period of american history is that period from world war ii to sputnik. there's a period it's not clear what people said , i mean, the trial is good. they have people under oath, and they will have everybody testify. that's not what people were thinking. she describes the day at which they close the mouse trap and what everybody's reactions were that day. you're not going get that anywhere else. >> how did you come upon that? >> thanks to marina who knew i was doing this project, and she finally said maybe you should
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come to an arbor and look at this stuff. it was awkward, the woman that her father left her mother for. she didn't want to look very personal letters. she trusted me to go through them and take out what was, you know, what was useful for the history and computing. and it brings the bock to life. i don't think there would be a book that is alive without her voice. it's -- something about having english as a second language. they drive 1940 -- he gets invited in seattle they drive across the united states in 1940. she records that as route 66 and stopping at gas stations. it's all there. >> her personal accounts are derivet it. >> she kept a suicide at the end show kept a journal until the end. she deserves a book of her own. it's not for me to write.
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someone else. >> in this incredibly life that he is leading in 1944, he encounters -- and their work for the first time. talk a little about that encounter and what happened. >> yeah. they were way ahead. they were -- they had built tsh there was no doubt no one argues whether they built it or not. it is a clear case of something that was first even though it can be traced to other people and to, you know, have james milely tracing it back. but it was a -- as he said, it was a pioneering thing, and because he was scientific advisers to the baa ballistic research board he got to see it he immediately saw what it could
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do. he will tell you when it is running you're seeing the bits you're seeing the loots -- lights moving around. you can' the numbers and you're within the computation and he had that kind of mind, and, you know, visually think minds. the moment he saw that he could see the other stuff coming. >> the way it was physically built you're literally standing inside of it. >> forget it was very advanced. it was actually multiple core processer. like 16 cores on a chip you divide the competition up in to a parallel path. >> the herman who was instrument tal working with them says when he saw it for the first time when he saw it it changed his life forever. >> forever. certainly. >> is there -- are there -- are
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there own words that express what he was feeling? because suddenly everything had been theoretical for him now becomes physical and real. >> yes. there are words and for instance the letters. he fell in love with it. he loved that machine. he knew what it could do, and then it was this very wonderful thing. he taught her how to program it. she saw -- who saw what first. but somebody saw that they were thinking -- they were already designing the institute design and were writing code for it. but the minor wasn't ready. somebody said we could rewire these and store them. ..
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if you created a new state in the middle east or something if they modeled these populations and that's what you needed to solve these early problems. the early stating the population of neutrons and fishing to
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children like emigrating so she taught herself the mathematics of populations and that ended up being what they needed. it was a strange accident. estimate that there is a point of controversy in history about the relationship to the intellectual work that they were doing in the papers the produced which was the design paper, and whether he wanted to circulate that was an open source guide to the modern phrase, didn't believe that this secret -- because he understood the power it could unleash, could truly be secret, or whether he played by the rules so to speak. what do you think about that? >> ki certainly broke the rules. this is very controversial. there is no doubt that he didn't
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write the whole paper. he put them together. there is some debate what part of the paper goldstein road and what part came from eckhart and lockley. the paper was released under his name and, you know, all i try to do is find out what the truth is, and yakima it was really stand that it was considered a publication, so it violated the chance of patent. all i can tell you, you know, in terms of the smoking gun is that in 1945 von neumann signed a consulting agreement with ibm, so this result was highly favorable for ibm and there were
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no patent restrictions on these ideas, but i think from von neumann's point of view i don't think he was out to do anything unscrupulous. he just thought this would be for the good of everybody, and i think you have to remember that they are all coming out of world war ii all of these groups during the war they were all collaborating. eckhart lockley, they were all collaborating together, people from manchester, people from princeton were going to manchester sort of arguing about who should get the credit camelot later. >> they do come out of world war ii. in fact the world ends and von neumann is heading back and wants to transplant the entire team and continue to work and eckhart and lockley continue. >> they decide they're going to pursue. it was supposed to be eckhart.
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he declined. people went back and forth. there is a great letter they shangaied to of our guys and we shangaied yours. yeah, in the end it became very bitter, and i -- again, you can read some documents in this book that are pretty incriminating that the eckhart lockley company was doing quite well and the contract for three machines in the government that would have put them on the path ibm took and then they had their sixth. security clearance contract and we don't know the very sort of disturbing memo describing what happened because i don't think that they were a security risk but it really put their company of the path forward.
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>> and von neumann was bitter about their decision, wasn't he? he was very critical of this. >> he was annoyed. he wanted to go full speed ahead and felt they were holding things up, and if they would feel differently. i try not to take sides but i think there is truth on both sides. >> so, 1946, he puts that aside and he goes back to ies and began working on this highly improved by a very historic program successor called the maniac. >> mathematical and numerical integrator. the name was then adopted. >> the year of the ac's. >> right. >> he said some interesting things. he's very practical. he says we are not going to average rate anything. we are simply going to work with the state of the art as it existed in that moment.
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>> that went back and the cr team memory as it existed at the time and 15 tons of air-conditioning. >> and a magnetic wire output. they did a lot of things. one was -- remember at that time you couldn't modify ibm equipment. it was like field telephones. but they did modify ibm. they got some punch card machines which still read 12 bits coming and they could read the machinery the 80 and that is the whole world we have, why we have the character lines. >> was that his innovation? >> hulett crane who lived here and then moved to stanford research. he did that alone and got in trouble and then the ibm people
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came and said wait a minute, we could probably sell this coming in the day did very well. that is what put them in the data processing business. >> the british author have a great review in the book we were talking about and he says no other book brings to life vividly for appreciatively like the difficulty of creating electronic logic for the first time. talk about the design, the team from the plan, von neumann's drive to do this. he was tireless in bringing all of these to life. >> he was trying to do almost the impossible. what he did was really crazy. they were making this for ebit parallel machine where one bit of every word is an indifferent to, and they are tubes that if you walk past wearing a sweater you might throw them off and
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then nothing works yet they got it to work and who jersey which is the least hospitable environment for the delicate electronic command. >> every time the car went by would wipe out the memory. >> they were so persistent and the fact they got the starting this fall was quite amazing. >> you use the phrase a deal with the devil. there was another deal with a devil made in the development of the computer that von neumann wanted to build, wasn't there? >> i feel this is a fable for the future, but the deal was made that the devil could have a
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weapon that destroyed all life on earth and von neumann and the scientists would get this computer that would reveal all the knowledge. it was an incredible trade. give me everlasting life and i will give you my firstborn child sort of thing. and we think that, you know, we won the deal because at that time it's incomprehensible how real the threat of the world wide war was at that time in 1950 it was a 20 minute launch window destroying the world and we survived that. we don't really worry about those like we used to. so it seems we got the better end of the deal. i think what you have to remember is that computers could be equally threatening. maybe he's i don't want them, i want the computers. that's what we need to be watchful for is that we do not let this global computer network
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that is so beautiful in the cathedral but makes sure that it doesn't become the tool of some totalitarian maniac. >> you talk about that and i want to get to that in the second, but it was interesting. interesting isn't the right word. it was compelling that von neumann could see both moving and parallel having worked here in los alamos he could see what the results of the hydrogen bomb was likely to see and at the same time had a premonition of what computing taken to the far extent could also turn out to be >> you did not foresee the internet. >> i understand. [laughter] >> then did and they devise what he would call a real problem in the perfect cover so they are working on the thermonuclear explosion models, but they are
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also working on strategic whether. >> i think that he was just an opportunist, he was a genius, so he did sort of need a cover for this work and media, which was the perfect cover so he brought in the real meteorologist and any time you checked your iphone and get a 5a forecast, it's the same code they developed right there with better input data and processing power. >> of the two that seem to catch on at the same time as the power increased. >> they are both hydrodynamics. >> see you talk about learning to write code of and this is one of the great revelations of the book which is the developing the altar of the man he is instructing even further coaching her and she is getting
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involved in writing the code for monte carlo. had it been known von neumann was writing the code from of dicarlo? >> what's interesting is some of the codes like this one of them in an envelope that you could mail with two stamps. it's all we would call the code for the hydrogen bomb and it's the opposite of today. this code would run for six weeks to get it one bit answer, yes or no, whereas now in a microsecond your screen refreshers, there are very different kinds of codes but i think it's incredibly important, and it's a perfect example how come you know, he was recovering from a brain virus and they said
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don't think too much so he started playing solitaire and he realized we can do computing this way. [laughter] >> how did mauney carlo, which is a sophisticated way of going about writing software, how did that happen so rarely in the evolution of computing and the machines were so primitive in memory was so small? >> they needed it, they needed to follow these populations of the neutrons, and they didn't have the horsepower to do it in an analytical way so they had to do it in a statistical way. the beauty of ma dicarlo is it's not an approximation, it is closer to the way the world of the physics really works at its essence. >> can you explain that because there's a lot of people here will know about monte carlo but
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there may be people watching and listening who don't. >> instead of trying to get an exact answer, you sort of develop a game of chance. of the more you play the better your answer. if you are gambling in a casino if you gamble long time you get a very accurate estimate of how, with the take of the other side is. seeking 3% or 2%, and what is beautiful we couldn't imagine that it was true but johnny and clyde, the meat in monte carlo and he has a system for roulette and he has lost all of his money.
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his first marriage she's still married to her mother but he goes over to the bar and there is clara whose husband is a compulsive and addictive gambler and she is not happy and he knows her from childhood. she was this jury attractive figure skater. he buys her a drink -- she buys him a drink. >> she has the money. >> yeah. so they met -- the meet in monte carlo. >> it's a great story. it is. so, word begins in 46 and then in the summer of 1951 the team from los alamos comes to princeton and the load a large thermonuclear calculation into the maniac it runs for 24 hours without interruption. six weeks. >> for six weeks it runs. >> 60 days.
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>> with a flabbergasted, with a confident, what was the reaction? >> nobody was supposed to talk. we were not supposed to know he was working it was dedicated with reporters and stuff they got a working earlier. we were desperate to know whether that is when we were building the first hydrogen bomb there is a few people left. harris was there and marshall died not long ago. but they were not supposed to talk about what they were doing. there were testing of the machine but actually they were running the problem. you can telco by the day's from the show of -- >> [inaudible] >> yes.
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>> [inaudible] [inaudible] >> we will have to give you a microphone. he was telling how became all of their male came from the post office 1663 and he thought niquette a girlfriend in new mexico. >> she said she was so handsome. >> the hydrogen bomb is detonated 60 years ago this year, november 1st, 1952 in the south pacific.
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>> he writes about knowing and he uses the phrase they were creating a monster but then he also goes on to say that he felt they would be unethical for the scientist not to see through to the end what they knew they were capable of. and i think it is interesting that he juxtaposed ethics in that way the monster being created for the scientific obligation to see it through to its end. is that characteristic of the von neumann that you've covered in this research? >> she was married and very strongly against so they had this argument repeatedly and his answer was no, we've got to the physics. we've got to know what happens if there's a way that it happens it is our job to find out. it's not our job to say whether
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it is good or bad. >> the next year the soviets detonate their hydrogen bomb. >> it wasn't very successful. it turned out like just with the germans they were not as far along as we thought they were. but at los alamos, she had been working on the hydrogen bomb design that was not successful but we didn't know that at the time and then we found out that he was a russian spy, so they have as much knowledge as we did and might be pushing for the hydrogen bomb. >> less than four years later he dies of cancer. >> tragically. >> and the team scatters. because the plug gets pulled it
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doesn't last it is essentially collapses. >> they have this group going which ibm picked on. they started doing that but there was a gap in between the was lost. but it's understandable why the institute didn't want to become a computing center. so it was von neumann that kept it going. we have ought ins questions? >> we do. there are a lot of good questions here. let me ask about two or three things before we get to these. let's talk about the implications of all of this because you talk a lot about the implications of computing where it is going in the book. you said about a week ago that last time you checked the digital universe -- i want to
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make sure i got these right is expanding by 2 trillion in transistors and second and processing power and 5 trillion bits per second in a storage. >> that's hard disk storage. >> von neumann predicted the universe of 10,000 switches i think is what he -- >> with this unleashing of computer power there are three things you talked about that i want to cover for a second. one is our official the intelligence. von neumann spoke of computers he never talked about artificial the intelligence command turing talked about something else. so, talk about that the economy -- dichotomy and you write about it in the book is inteded as a result more on the side speculating that intelligence, but he was very reserved and he
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never published anything until that was perfectly proven. turing was the other way. he stuttered and said what he thought so there were different characters. that is the tragedy. he was interested in artificial intelligence but he didn't want to publish anything until we had a complete feeling on it and he never got there for. turing died at 41 and von neumann at 53. >> is what we are seeing now the approximations of artificial intelligence as they might have thought of it? >> get as close to what he was looking at. people remember his 1950 speeder with the limitation and his 36 paper. the one that is equally
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important but less remembered as his 1938 which is a ph.d. dissertation at princeton on the non-deterministic machines every once in awhile we may do something illogical and put it together and that's intelligence he believed that he had proven his the machine that never makes mistakes could never be intelligent. he proved that as well. if it never makes a mistake it is and intelligent. >> but if you look at what time google is doing with this deterministic machine and all of these would everett is a million servers now that are all perfectly predictable deterministic turing machines in the classical sense which we think of as deterministic if they are connected by the
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non-deterministic links which are the people. every time you gift in search results and click on one that is a non-deterministic process. then the machine incorporates the state of that non-deterministic leaped into the state of the machine and that's why google can you get results millisecond because it knows what other people have found. you can't imagine what google is doing right here and that isn't scary or anything else it is just the are doing it and we love it. we couldn't live without it. the second woman to talk about is the computer organism to talk about the juxtaposition of turing and von neumann use a
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that many decades later we still face the same questions. the question is what it would take for the machines to begin to think. von neumann's question as to what take for the machines to begin to reproduce. the notion of the replicating computer is in your book you talk about that but logically and practically. what do you think the implications are? >> that's why we ended up with silicon valley because they became effectively sells replicating. nobody is making the computers they are replicating themselves. i think that's why this von neumann machine is so important even though there are machines everywhere else it is the one that became the pattern. it's the machine that the factories that used to be right here to make millions of everyday. >> i am more interested in code
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organisms. if you have to pick the great characters in this book von neumann border chellie and julian begelow. they could be viewed as organisms because the cells reproduce and replicate. they crossbreed, and he looked, so i think in the way happening on the code side, coating side, not the hardware side the chips or the suit out of which the interesting things happen. >> the third one is a big computers. he envisioned a world in which there was no network to speak of but they would perform all of the computations and uzi that being realized in some respects.
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>> von neumann's provision was three or four computers to the dalia linen secure computation results over the network then we went to this distributed network and we are going more to things like an google and facebook which are large computers in a very broad sense but in a way they are of course people in the industry have gone back and forth the intelligence be in the terminal but goes back and forth to read as democrats get to audience questions. it's not unreasonable to say the computer science is dominated by the concept. do you think it is possible to change in the near future? >> yes.
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the way it will change is not from the bottom-up. we are never going to east cape machine on the matrix. turing as a one-dimensional novel and its work so well. on top of that we are free to build all sorts of different models of competition. the answer is yes it is going to change. it is a question from someone. in 1955 they sold a computer that they had looked like it had vacuum tubes hanging out with a stiff wires. was that a temporary situation or did it generally look like that? >> it sounds to me like they were doing some diagnostic -- they might have been looking -- i don't know exactly when that was. >> 1955. >> the had monitors that could have been what it was. they would look in the memory
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from outside. >> and there was a conflict, wasn't there among the physicists and mathematicians what they called the computer people. the computer people were relegated to the worst space to estimate they were put in the basement, then they were put in the outbuilding. estimate does that ever reconcile or do they have to go back to business? >> what has been reconciled now built the most fabulous luxurious building at the institute is the charles hall built by the hungarian programmer, so now they have the best headquarters. as the mix of the had the last laugh. there is a suggestion that von neumann had to charm into making the machine.
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>> he threatened to leave would be embarrassing and university chicago, mit bell labs, he could have gone anywhere but he wanted to stay there. so yeah, they couldn't let him go. >> if you were to describe what von neumann's provision was for the u.s. and society in this country as he founded and chose to make his home to you think that would be? >> what would he think if he had to go through an airport and go through tsa? it's sad so why don't know. he had a great vision of a space society and to avoid he says how
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quickly this can change so they can become the bad guys and the bad guys can become the good guys said yeah, he loved america and wanted to keep america strong but also fair. >> another interesting person at the time was robert wiener who was doing so much theoretical work and there's a question of the conflict between von neumann and weiner. kenya top of the conflict that occurred between them? >> the never really did come to the ias. he visited, but he was not a member. he was at mit. we play of these conflicts, they
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worked close together on a number of things and he was very opposed to the hydrogen bomb and there are splits between people that broke up friendships and so on that the hydrogen bomb. they also differ greatly on the weather prediction. he believed that he could actually long-range predict the weather and we believed in the beginning there was non-deterministic and you could not predict it, and he was right. so. we had asked them to send some questions in. if one is about the first draft of the report which was said to
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contain some of turing's own ideas that put forward by someone else, so if that was so, can you talk about which of those ideas were in that report especially given the description which you can also talk about wasn't published until almost a year later? >> it gets very complicated because turing pacoima the report was given in his ase report was definitely based on the report. if he knew turing's word i don't think -- he has my opinion but i don't think that eckert and mauchly were as up to speed on speed seven -- turing as von neumann. but they all had great ideas and they were cooperating at the time.
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we don't realize how -- kimmage crisford a position there was during the war. all of those laboratories working together. estimate was that part of those on the history that we will never know? >> if we go into it open-minded radar is a good example. it was such a collaboration between the americas and the british. neither side would have done it on their own, but together they got it done. >> other question is it has been said perhaps not kindly that his best contribution to the pilot ase development was to the physical laboratory altogether and let the team who get on with it so was he more of a team player in the u.s. while let princeton? there are two questions. one was not much of a team player? >> although he joined if and
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went -- >> i think in some ways he was a team player but he was a long-distance brummer but he had a reputation as being a runner, but. there is a fantastic mellow and where he asks poor people are handling have to ask the expression so i could play tennis in the morning when i feel -- feel like it rather than feeling like he has to. it's difficult to keep and disciplined. >> these questions are instrumental on the computing. when his -- kanaby said that his best contribution was to leave
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and let them get on with their work? >> i wouldn't say that, but i don't know. i'm not an expert on turing, and i haven't done this kind of looking at archives or documents but i think he made great contributions everywhere he went. >> maybe he's looking for validation and that wasn't the case. he may have given that to him. was there another intellectual passion besides just the sensationally curious mind that he had if he were to describe it in the fashion? what would it be? >> he was passionate about history particularly of the empire. he could recite. he loves mexican to some
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alcohol, women, almost interested in everything. hard to find something he wasn't interested in. landmarks have a strange names he would go out of his way to these places like the devils pile. we have a tradition in america you to drive 40 miles, and he always went. and he was superstitious. he would never turn a light switch off without turning off seven times. [laughter] >> really? [laughter] >> how did that come to light? >> i don't know, but i think it is probably true. >> if he got a question in his mind he would go crazy the way
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he would be very temperamental until he worked out. >> there are cases of people giving him unsolvable problems. [laughter] >> someone else said no one could be so physically in different as von neumann when he was listening to electorate that he had zero interest in. >> she had no time for small talk. but people like lewis strauss who it was a great how he could negotiate the agreement among the roomful of people that is a great -- disagreed. he got the people that worked together, and we need people like that. we need a lot of credit for suddenly all the credit and that
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-- you shouldn't go that far. >> which he didn't seek, and really any time that occurred, he seemed to be very good about pushing them away, didn't he? >> he was pretty good. he had his share of credit. >> but his ego didn't require that. >> is that what you are saying? >> and i think that he can see himself. he didn't need other people -- >> we would like to have the authors read because this is more powerful when it comes across in your own voice. you have to do couple of passages about the book that you are going to read and so i am just going to close this giving a bit of that. >> okay i'm leaving everything in the middle.
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the acknowledgement whose title is in the beginning was the command line which is stevenson who helped tremendously with this book. in 1956 at the age of 3i was walking with my father from his office of the institute for advanced study in princeton and jersey when i found a broken fan belt lying in the road. i asked my father what it was. it's a piece of the sun, he said. my father was a field of the arrest and protege, former wartime leader of the division that was almost who when accepting his nobel prize for discovering the cycle that fuels the stars explained stars have a life cycle much like animals. degette born, they grow, they go through the internal development and finally they die to give back the material which they are made so that movie stars may live.
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to an engineer they exist between the crankshaft and the water pump. to the physicist fan belts exist briefly in the intervals between stars. [laughter] >> now i will read you the end. that is the place they were delegated next the boiler room where the first installed in 1946. the institute's main room recently connected the outside world by some 545 nurse in the 45 megabit per switch if the reversal of the attempt to incubate self propagating the miracle organisms and dedicated network monitoring system now watches overall traffic trying
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to keep out the and less organisms that are now attending to get in. the viruses are getting so intelligent that it is really an arms race in 2005 explained. it's watching the traffic as it goes by as they watch out for the machines. the arms race being fought in the basement now bloomberg hall will never be decided in favor of the completely deterministic over the probabilistic incomplete. the wilderness if you tell me a digital wilderness will always win. there are codes and machines that can be doing anything given the exact description but will be never possible simply by looking at the code with that code will do. no-fly your wall even simpler risk could ever be made complete. the digital universe will always leave room for moreh studies and even robert frost could dream of, the twilight film remains.
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the 32 by 32 by 40 that make to the come matrix had coded instructions and then given intendant number to give to that location and perform the next construction which could have been to modify the existing instructions found at that address even from finite at the beginning there was no way to predict the end result. in november, to those of the box turned up in the basement of the west building of the institute for advanced studies where its presence had been overlooked. it still permeated the dust that silver for the collection of the world war ii service manuals that for some reason had been thrown out when the input and output was switch from paper tape. underneath was a carton of data processing cards accompanied by a note written in pencil on have she of paper disintegrated and several fragments identifying the card as the drum code with
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instructions for how it should be loaded and run on a high-speed magnetic drum. along with a stack of cards worth three sheets of larger paper filled with a decimal codes with the law of nature governing the fossilized universe it was preserved in the state of suspended animation on the card. here were the dead sea scrolls. the company in the cards addressed signed tw ago had the following statement. there must be something about this code that you have not explained that. that is the end of the book. [laughter] [applause] >> we have a shortage of things in this country. engineers are among them. software, hardware, you name it.
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but i am now convinced may be one of our other great kallur shortages is a set of the legend motivated historians who are going to go out, find these boxes and rare papers in the notes that will help us understand the full scope of what's happened and what the implications are for the future. >> i agree. but we have a history i think we should. schenectady want to talk just a little bit about -- first let me say thank you to george dyson. [applause] >> come on up. over here. >> explain what was like to join the project at age 17. >> have a seat. you and george have a little
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conversation. >> just hold it up. there you go. >> george and i have had several conversations, and perhaps a would be interesting to know how we met. i have a son in philadelphia, and i went back and in colorado and i met a woman whose father had been woodrow wilson's tayler when road woodrow wilson was the president of princeton university. imagine how vulnerable but was. and we -- she was going up to princeton for a high school reunion coming and we decided we would meet at princeton for lunch. but since i got there early, i went out to the institute and the receptionist when i told her my little bit of history said
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why don't you go over to the library, you might be interested in what is over there. what was over there was a display of the institute electronic computer 50 years ago. and in the case i found copies of letters with my initials at the bottom. [laughter] >> you know, all of those years later i didn't remember writing those letters, but in the library and at the institute said i think he might like to meet george dyson because he is writing a book about the electronic computer project. i left my telephone number and the next day he telephoned and i
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came back to princeton coming and we have had i think a friendship ever since. >> i don't know if that is of any interest to you but when i was 16-years-old, graduated from high school in philadelphia, william penn high school for girls, and my parents, my father who was a greek immigrant made it very clear to me that i could not expect to go to college. nice girls found husband's and went to work and that was the end of it. but, a counselor at the high school i was at the top of my class she said we have got a request for a secretary at the university of pennsylvania and she sent me out there and i met
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herman goldstein destin his ordinance uniformed and his wife and for some reason they hired this naive girl who didn't even know algebra and there i was turned into this magical world that i think of as a miracle. then after the act was introduced, herman and adel invited me to go to princeton with them and for a year i commute on the pennsylvania railroad in philadelphia to princeton juncture. have any of you and -- i am sure many of you have been to princeton. how many? will get all the hands. did you take it?
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>> you took the train from princeton and i did that for a long time and then solomon, who is a mathematician, was going on a sabbatical to harvard, and he wanted someone to stay with his wife and i got the privilege of living in the house a few blocks away from the institute where i had my own bathroom and bedroom, and she took me by a hand and i was born a red head and she told me you look like a water painting and you should wear blue and green. so it changed my life as you can imagine. but going downstairs today i saw
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the shot of me in the act display. [laughter] so you never know where life takes you, do you? >> thank you. [applause] >> all of these papers of the institutes are terribly disorganized. so we went down. let me organize them. i didn't leave them in this state of disorder. [laughter] you don't have to pay me just let me come in. the archives have to be preserved in the state in which they were found. so, they are still disorganized. >> i think one of the things george talked about, the institute, and perhaps some of you have been to the institute,
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but the institute now we and certainly is at that time and a very unique place founded by the family who owned a department stores and newark. and i think george can correct me. they certainly saw what was coming in europe, and they brought professor einstein and professor von neumann and herman. the names that are all in the history books brought them to the institute to this absolutely beautiful landscape, and i remember seeing the professor walking with kurt coming to the institute, and one christmas the drifter of the institute that
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was president of the university invited all the secretaries to his house, to the mansion. i was the youngest, i was probably 17 and all of the other women were certainly much older and much more experienced. and there was a knock on the door, and professor einstein came in with a babysitter and had tea with us. i am in paris to say i don't remember a word he said. [laughter] one other thing i remember is professor von neumann julian begelow george's but he talks
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about the partner they gave, and one time when they invited the computer group to go and i wore my prettiest black dress. and as i say, i had a bright red hair coming and i got to dance with jay robert oppenheimer. [laughter] can anybody else say that? [laughter] [applause] >> thank you so much. [applause] >> one other quick thing. you were telling me earlier and that you are thinking about writing your memoir. talk about that, and especially the title. >> today i don't think that young women are called secretaries. they are called administrative assistance. they have pretty and fancy titles. but in 1946, i was only the
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secretary. and i think that's what i want to title my little memoir because you can do a lot of good as a secretary. i don't say you're very important, but they need you. all of you probably have had secretaries. birthday important to you? [applause] i've also had a wonderful experience. i was the secretary at nyu because when i needed a job i went to any academic institution because that was my experience, and i have had great experiences being only the secretary. if i can learn to use my computer may be alright.
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[applause] >> george dyson. [applause] the a week for the convention there was this crazy coalitionis of democrats, southern segregationists like richard russell, strom thurmond, they would step aside. big city bosses like new jersey were jake of chicago, liberals like hubert humphrey, members of eye roosevelt family. hv we want a ike but he jewels back
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again and crushes the whole thing. there's another explanation aga. there is another explanation of why truman pulled this off, even though everyone is so wary of him. i can't repeat his words, but when he hears the words of the truman or eisenhower collapsing before the convention, he says, well, you tell those people that any link who sits behind his and the u.n. is us, your government and mine.
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sometimes we talk about the u.n. distancing ourselves. by doing that, we've given the governments who are ultimately responsible for action or inaction and ally and blaming the secretaries. one of my predecessors used to say that we often refer to the secretary-general bid doesn't stand for secretary-general, it stands for ec -- escaperoute. here's the scapegoat function of the u.n.. the member states and the media have to be very careful that we want to be useful as an ally. ..
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i like happy endings. she is great for that. i want to finish that. and robert cairo's new book on this. very excited about that. i've read several of auto biographies. i plan to finish them too.
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set down with booktv to discuss her latest book "words, not swords." she was interviewed at the university of virginia in charlottesville. it's about twenty minutes. >> and you're watching booktv on c-span2. for about the past year or so we have been going to universities so that we can meet some professors who are also authors and introduce you to their works as well as some other authors we cover here on booktv. joins us at the university of virginia in charlottesville is farzaneh milani he is the chair of middle eastern and south asian languages and cultures here. these author of this book "words, not swords: iranian women writers and the freedmom of movement" farzaneh milani, what's your book about?
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>> first, i would like to thank you for giving me the hon no nor to speak to you and introduce my book to your wonderful audience. i would like to add i have a [inaudible] it's women and gender at the university of virginia. i'm very proud to be a member much that department, that program. "words, not swords" is about segregation in the islam world in particular iran. the focus of the book is on iranian woman although i believe that main thesis can be applied to the islamic middle eastern and north africa. i have a argument in the book, i also have in the last 160 years
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women have been at the forefront at the moderrennizing movement in iran and in parts of the middle eastern and north africa. by desegregated themselves, by desegregating the social space, by desegregating the dominant discourse. >> how have they gone about that des.a.g. segregation? what are some of their methods? well, also talk about the second main argument of the book. i believe women writers have been at the forefront of the modernizing movement, and i hope you have the time to discuss why and how.
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women were an active participant in the social life of the community and at social discourse. this is a chapter in the koran that thought thought about -- talks about women who discuss and argue this. that's how active they were. they went to war, in fact, women -- one of the profit's wives was the commander of an army. in the early years of islam, women were much more active than they were in the following years. for centuries, most muslim societies, and i have to add here that not all islamic societies not a majority of the
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countries are necessarily i think there are certain patterns. for instance, segregation what is sex segregation? it's the division of the social space. there's the word of men, that's the world of politics, the outside world? the streets, the world of money and whatnot. the insides is the world of women. or what is considered the private. progressive over the course of the last 1 4 centuries women were segregated further and further. and it is only in the middle of the 19th century that some men and some women thought that the
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societies being deprived of the contribution of the population and the public. so you might be surprised to know that as early as 1848, there was a congregation in iran before the convention in upstate new york, in which men and women discussed and in fact enacted the desegregation of women. >> where did you come up with the title "words, not swords"? >> it was a long process. it took me about sixteen years to finish the bock. in an earlier book, i had mainly focused on the [inaudible] and after awhile and toward the
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end of that book, i had come to realize that we [inaudible] that the issue is not the there was something else. so through the help of women writers and iranian women and muslim women in other parts of the world. i came to realize that this position of space, that this denial of the freedom of movement to women was really the cause and the symptom of gender inequality. that in order to have a democratic society in order to have human dig sei -- dignity need to be free to leave their
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home and to return to it as they wish. >> professor, who were some of the iranian women writers you focus on in your book? >> i start 1848, [inaudible] that social movement unlike pregnancy cannot be traced back to a specific date and i had to start somewhere. i thought that congregation. it is an important year throughout the world. it would be a good place to start. the women who entered [inaudible] would unveiled was named -- [inaudible] she was a poet, and women who
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appropriated the -- [inaudible] she allowed herself to reinterpret this picture. i continue the revolutionary iran. it is [inaudible] from the rest of the world as you know. the united states of america, the land i love, the land i have adopted as i home, in recent decades has played less and less translation especially literary translation. the number of books translated from middle east in to english are not much. in the islamic republican of
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iron there has been a lot more translation of english literature than there has been in america from the land that many considered the enemy. >> is there a contemporary woman writer in iran that you would recommend for people? >> absolutely. let me first say that the islamic republican of islam or perhaps because of it there is a military renaissance going on in iran and women are at center stage. let me give you one example about women novelist. in 1947, we have the first major collection of short stories by
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[inaudible] unfortunately passed wie a couple of weeks ago at the age of 19. so women writers are an exemption. but poets in iran go back over a thousand years because poetry is of more women-friendly kind of art form. you can't write it -- you can it in the privacy of your home. you don't need to go a studio. you don't need actor, you don't need -- it's a women-friendly art form especially in the segregated society. but women novelist -- [inaudible] so 1947 is the first major literary. and then we have handful of
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women novelist and right now we have about 370 women novelist in iran equal to the number of men. [inaudible] we called her the lioness of iran. the voice of disdense, the voice of fairness, consciousness, to iranian history in the last six decades, but especially after the revolution. she is the national poet for our country. recognized by the government and such, but recognized by the people inside and outside the country as the national poet. it's the first time a woman has become the national poet in my country of birth. >> professor, were you born,
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were you raised? where did you study? >> i was born in teheran, iran. my parents gave everything they had to the education of their children. i have four brothers. they sent me from early childhood to a french school. i was raised part of my years in iran, but by catholic nones and part of it in [inaudible] and . >> in france? >> in french in iran. in iran. we had wonderful coeducational school. run by french people. some nuns some secular people. >> were you parents wealthy? >> they were not exceptionally rich, but yes, they blocked to
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-- belonger to upper mid class. >> would you consider your family to be a secular family or a devout family? >> well, i don't see life as binary opposite [inaudible] if you would allow me to say don't mean touch me. my parents were both muslim. my brother was not a practicing muslim. i have never seen her pray or fast. by mother wasn't a practicing muslim. she prayed, she fasted, she was [inaudible] and she wrote liberated women. i consider myself a statement of women, and i think my first teacher was my mother. >> when did you come to the united states?
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why where did you go to university? >> i arrived in the united states of america on december 17, 1967. i went to [inaudible] state. where i earned a bachelor's degree of arts in french literature. then i moved to ucla. i studied french literature there too, and i was almost done with any graduate studies and i knew i was going do my dissertation on [inaudible] for the right word and the idea of women. why decided to switch majors to comparative literature so that i can write. excuse me my dissertation on an
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iranian woman poet whom i loved. many of my teachers except one said that it was a professional suicide of sort to switch from the two. so my teachers jokingly told me this she has unpronounceable name as you do, and but it was a labor of love, and it eventually became a turning point in my life. i'm very glad i listened to my heart. >> so professor, did you stay in the states after that and become a citizen? >> yes. i have [inaudible] this country. after graduation i had a job offer from a university. the premier institution.
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>> the revolution. >> just around the revolutionary time. i graduated in 1979. but because i had foused on women, and my parents didn't think it was a wise thing to return, and by that time i had children and and i loved this country, and i so i did not go back. i have lived here since then. >> have you visited iran over the years? >> for a few years after the revolution. because i believe in freedom of conscious, because [inaudible] in fact i have spoken both the literary books with [inaudible]
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the movement in iran. i felt it was not wise to go back neither did any parents. but it was under -- i went back and unfortunately the last seven years, i have not gone back. >> what was your experience when you did go back? did you visit the universities? did you visit with women writers or was it basically a family trip? >> well, i visited with family first and foremost but i considered women writers and women artist my literary mothers. i as i told you at the
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beginning, i believe there is a sans literary renaissance in iran. there are many women writers who write beautiful work of art. we have more women directer in the last decade in iran than we've had in the whole previous 100 years of history in my country. we have women painters. we have women dancers, singers, i mean, you name it, we have fantastic women. actors, as you know, and iranian movie, fantastic iranian separation won the oscar this year and justifiably so. so not exactly as they are
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perceived to be in the u.s. if we put aside the government of iran, if we focus on the people of iran, we will see that a civil rights movement like in the middle east or north africa a literary movement is going on in iran. >> so professor, when you hear people from the west talk about the need to modernize in iran, what do you think? i tell this is [inaudible] idea. i tell them that to modernize iran started more than 160 years ago. i said that many men and women have sacrificed life and limb in
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search of human dignity, and democracy and gender-equality. i tell that if we don't start a war, no one can stop that civil movement in iran. and i pray that nonviolent movement that started in iran will be allowed to flour rich. if you allow me to add the focus of my book is on nonviolent resolution of problems. [inaudible] to my literary foremother. the ultimate story teller. as you know, she was married to a serial killer.
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the king [inaudible] she volunteered to become a wife of for the serial killer, you know, he had been betrayed by his wife, be i the queen. he decided he will be never be betrayed by women again. after every consummation with woman with a woman, he would behead that woman in the morning so that she will never gate chance to betray him again. and she was a sorry teller decided that she can cure whim words, with stories. and she did. i believe in the power of words. >> and finally, professor, what's the photograph on the front of the bock? >> this is a photograph by one of iran's foremost visual
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artist. a dear friend of mine. she very kindly and generously allowed us to use this photograph, it's from one of her films with a fantastic film. and it's a group of women who are veil d but -- i thought it is a most appropriate and as you used word a stark photograph. so it's a photograph. >> we've been talking with professor farzaneh milani. "words, not swords: iranian women writers and the freedmom of movement" here's the
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cover of the bock. this is booktv on c-span2. >> the u.n. is us. and it can be as powerful as these governments wanted them to be, and sometimes we talk about the u.n. as it has been distance in ourselves. i dream that we are given the who ultimately responsible for action in only of these situation an al by. an al by and -- and the secretary general one of my predecessors used to say that we often refer to the secretary general as for short and said it doesn't for secretary general. it stands for scapegoat. it there's a scapegoat. >> scapegoats. >> exactly. there is a scapegoat function. u.n. but the media have to be very
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caveful not to dump so many we want them to be useful as an alibi. >> more with former u.n. secretary general kofi an nonon after words. on booktv. >> one of the imprints of the penguin publishing group is viking. joining us is their directer of publicsly caroline. we want to ask cow about some of the books that are coming out in the fall of 2012. >> kevin phillips, you know him as historian and analyst. kevin flips is coming out with "1775" he debunks the myth that 1776 -6s the water head year and looks at 1775 as the pivotal
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year when all the events and conflict were happening, and so analyzes 1775. and usual kevin fashion, it very nuance research it will be controversial as many of the books are. >> viewers are fans of kevin flips. kevin flips did the "in depth ." you can go to booktv.org and watch three hours. go. upper left-hand corner. i want to ask you about another book coming out inspect is mike's book. "the party is over." >> i think the subtitle says it is all. how the republicans went crazy, the democrats became useless, and the middle class got shafted. the subtitle says it all. and mike as many of the viewers know is a 28 year veteran of
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capitol hill and he really just lays it all out on what's wrong with the government. >> is that coming out before the election? >> early august in time for all the conventions and before the election, yes. >> carol. >> for "american lady." it is a biography on susan mary. a true american aristocrat. she was married to joe al sop. she was the george down, washington, d.c., socialite. kissinger once said that more decisions and things were made in her living room than in the white house. she brought so many moverrers and shakers in the u.s.a. and the world together. it's a real delight. >> didn't a new biography come out? >> i believe so. i think there's a play on
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broadway as well. >> right. what should we know about viking. how long is it been around? >> oh! i think it's something like 79 years? i should know the exact -- i should know the birth date of viking. i don't. i'm sorry. i know, the logo is rock well kent, a beautiful viking ship, so, yeah. >> what kind of titles do you look for? >> award winning serious non-fiction. literary fiction, we also enjoy the commercial fiction as well. a wide breadth of news makers and we really focus on books and authors that will help the dialogue and learn more and start, you know, getting people curious and . >> we're here at book expo america the annual convention in new york city. how important is a convention
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like this to your business? >> i guess it's incredibly important especially now when everybody is just talking about the physical book versus the e book. it's all about reading and getting excited about the books. look at it, you know, look at these great covers and the booths and walking over to the other imprints and just hearing what people are exited about. it's important to get the dialogue going. >> as director of publicity, how has your job changed changed in with the invent of e-books. >> it's changed in terms of 0 focus on social media. our mainstream media, you know, npr and the review coverage, really important and crucial as ever. ..
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delivered at westminster college in fulton, missouri, on march 5,
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1946. mr. churchill was recently lost reelection as british prime minister, was invited to speak by president harry truman, who promised to introduce the former prime minister if he accepted the invitation. the author recalls mr. churchill's desire to speak out against the rise of communism and how he later referred to his appearance in missouri as the most important speech of his career. this is about an hour and 10 minutes. >> good evening, ladies and gentlemen. welcome to the kansas city public library. i'm the director of the kansas city public library. it's a pleasure to have philip white here tonight. where philip white comes from, and has written this wonderful book. it's an extraordinary story. this is one of the six or seven
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greatest speeches, most important speeches, most consequential speeches in the history of the world i believe. i've written about it myself, and this speech in fulton, missouri, with the president of the united states and a former prime minister of england on the stage together set the tone for, created the first in essence battle in the history of the cold war, and it's beginning because of churchill's great rhetoric led to, in fact, the first victory but as i've written about the consequence of this included a moment when beadle smith became common was the executive officer to general eisenhower during world war ii was named ambassador of russia by truman come with to russia right after the speech can had no instructions. stalin called into his office at one in the morning and said his this policy the united states?
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and smith not knowing what it was the policy of the united states, but assuming whatever winston churchill would say must indeed be a policy of the united states, said yes. and stallman went into the next room in which the shah of iran's sister and announced to her that he was willing to pull russian troops out of iran. who were there illegally and my belief the first victory of the cold war. it's interesting that there has never been a book point study of this most important speech until phil white, who is an amateur, a private scholar, actually i don't think after the publication of the book i can sit amateur anymore because this is a wonderful narrative of history. all confirmed this, john lucas has said i read our -- "our supreme task" and i recommend emphatically. there's now an enormous literature about the cold war but very little about how it actually came about, and almost
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nothing about this book fills the gap and fills a brilliantly. philip has been a writer and lecturer at the american nazarene university, a regular contributor to the historical society, austin university. he's a business writer, member of the public relations society of america and he frequently, a frequent contributor to canoe and kayak which must somehow must have prepared him for the speech. but it's a very good book about a very important topic, and you will be able to get, buy copies from our friends at barnes & noble in the hall and fillable site afterwards and also take your questions. ladies and gentlemen, it's a pleasure to introduce phil white. [applause]
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>> these are my notes. yes, these are my notes which is good. thank you so much to crosby kemper for the kind introduction. to henry as well, lorenzo butler, todd and the rest of the kansas city public library team. thank you also to rob, driving all the way up from fold and excellent from the museum. and for those at midamerican nazarene university decided to recombination of bribery and coercion that cosponsoring this event would be a good idea. [laughter] speaking of bribery, looking around the audience, i see a few familiar faces. it's nice to know that line the pockets still a good way to get people to turn out for this sort of thing. so the only catch being that those i have come to agree with have to stay to the in. the rest of you are free to leave if the security guards will let you out. this week i was relating acknowledgments of my book, and
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was truly amazed by how many people were involved. and dancing all these names, i realize that while it is a book about history, about the struggle between tyranny and liberty, and about one of the defining moments of the 20th century, it is first and foremost a book about people. in some of these you will have heard of until after this talk when whether you like it or not you will. the looming large over my narrative, it's one of the paper you're probably have heard of, winston churchill. there have been lots of books written about winston churchill, and you may have wondered why write another. but why there have been many volumes on his early life, on his wilderness years when he was -- and, of course, on churchill's wartime triumph, little has been written about his postwar life and it is -- about how this speech came
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about. indeed many people don't know that just weeks after millions of londoners cheer to churchill through streets on the ebay, victory in europe day, may 1945, they voted him out of office in a landslide defeat. some reward for the man who led his country and in many ways the democratic west, a victory over tyranny. it was also the second election law and history of the conservative party and one that gave the labour party its first majority government. during the campaign labor looked forward to the post world needs of new housing, caring for wounded soldiers and right or wrong, of constructing a welfare state. and contrast the conservatives really just relied on churchill reputation and its record of war leader, understand in some ways. but they filter the posts strong alternative to labour's plans.
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and really churchill's opponent, proposal, the head of the labor party frankly out working on the campaign trail. despite these facts and holding a double-digit lead in the weeks leading up to the election, churchill's advisers were convinced he would still win and some of the convinced him, too. yet when election day came in july 1945, the voters wanted to move on from churchill's wartime coalition. the labour party was in, and winston churchill at age 70, was out. churchill was a -- writing more than 40 books, hundreds of magazine articles and, of course, composing many memorable speeches. he juggled this with his political responsibilities, calling on many beleaguered secretaries at all hours of the day and night to transcribe his lofty prose. he was, in fact, in the habit of only transcribing and wrote a
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little in his own hand, even his -- even letters from his wife were written by his secretary. with his election to the game nurture. lots of purpose. was he finished as a politician? we ever again be able to return as leader? how have the british people neglected him after he led them to victory over hitler? all these nagging questions plagued his mind. when he left the prime minister's week in the chequers, for what he assume would be the last time, churchill wrote a single solemn word in a leather bound guestbook on the table, they need. the french word for finish or stop. and when his beloved wife he would stood at his side for all these years trying to cheered churchill up by telling him that the election defeat may actually be a blessing in disguise, he said very glumly, at this moment it seems to be quite effectively disguised.
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[laughter] another reason for churchill's -- he had unfinished business with stalin. and the russian people that had sacrificed so much and no churchill believed were being led by a man who wanted little difference in what hitler had wanted in world war ii, namely the expansion of its powers and his doctrine. just days before the election results, churchill and sat across the table from stolen at the potsdam conference in germany where he is trying to make russia honor the yeltsin decoration which assigned by the russian premier, franklin roosevelt, who is now deceased, and winston churchill himself just weeks before. [inaudible] which in the red army was supposedly liberated from tyranny, only to replace it
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with another possibly even greater tyranny of communism. but stalin had broken his promises one by one, setting up his own administration in poland and refusing to withdraw the red army troops from iran. he wanted more german land as a result, that millions of people that are to be displaced in the nation would pay billions of dollars in reparations to the kremlin. the russians also demanded military bases in turkey, and access to the suez canal, a vital british trade route from the middle and far east. churchill had reluctantly accepted stalin as an ally when hitler had turned on russia so faithfully in the summer of 1941. of course, initially hitler and stalin were allies, but in hitler's paranoia he decided that he needed the raw minerals and the land of russia, and had in fact gone back on his supposed ally.
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is told churchill pretty much all he needed to know about stalin and his promises. at the time churchill needed russia to hold down against the germans on the bitterly cold eastern front while britain and, of course, since america thought the axis in the west. but he really despise communism from the beginning. calling it a pestilence, and voicing his desire to strangle bolshevism which is another name for communism, in its cradle. churchill had wanted to keep british troops in russia after world war i to help the anti-communists when the future of the country on in the balance. but british prime ministers david lloyd george, and an american president woodrow wilson vetoed this. at his core, churchill believed communism went against the very nature of the human soul. because it did not personal freedom and liberty for the sake of it all police state. in russia and at this point,
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across most of eastern europe, stalin and his agents told people what to think, how to live, who to associate with, and where to work, and virtually every other aspect of their existence. there was no room for creativi creativity. persecution only for religion, and there was no room for deba debate. the kgb in fact encouraged people to turn and friends and family members who they thought had uncommon his views. and what was the punishment for such a crime if convicted as people invariably were? well, it was exiled for the privilege cold law, the harsh siberian labour camps in which men died of hypothermia, starvation, and overworked. tens of thousands of people over stalin's reign. since coming to power in 1922, stalin had in fact killed up to 30 million of his own people,
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and execution of anyone who he thought would oppose them. the only news of rushing to get worcester pravda magazine which wasn't order of the kremlin all but a state-controlled radio. in fact the propaganda ministry employed hundreds whose lone job was to convince russians and in time most of eastern europe that not only was communism inherently good, and capitalism bad, but also live in democratic countries was miserable. many believe these lies because they knew nothing else. and really did been brainwashed by the kremlin into what was in many ways the cult of communism. and the people of russia and eastern europe did not see the truth. they even need a passport to move around inside their own countries. we cannot imagine this level of control. and now we go back to 1945, and
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with hitler defeated winston churchill recognized that communism was not the greatest threat to the democratic west. he had in fact written to harry truman in may of 1945 of that year. saw him voted out of power, to warn truman that stalin was bringing down an iron curtain across europe. as russia morphed into the soviet union, the abuses of communism spread across eastern europe. british and american diplomats were followed, harassed and even expelled. no foreign journalists were allowed in. you can see where modern dictators in syria, iran and north korea get their inspiration, the censorship of the media and a lockdown or even a stranglehold on social media sites and the internet. in poland, several thousand people were sent horrifyingly to the very concentration and prison camps that the allies and in some cases the red army had
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liberated. of course soviet officials wanted to stop word of these abuses from leaking out and to keep those subjected to that paranoid and depression and. stalin promised free elections in poland by the governments he set up as anything but representative. and in time, the way moscow reported the heroic patriots, the polish underground movement who had fought the entire length of the war against a not the occupation was by sending them to prison or in deed to their death. russia was a country, let us remember, that sent many of its own soldiers to the gulags after the war ended in case they been influenced by not see propaganda and turned against the russian empire. churchill's election brockton of the right to -- he realized was the one person in the world
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whose action could possibly prevent the spread of communism and a for a third world war. now, churchill believed if they could just sit down and talk with stalin, preferably with harry truman sitting alongside, that he could gain the concessions needed to safeguard democracy. but with that chance denied him, where he is success in the churchill had once called a sheep in sheep's clothing -- [laughter] what indeed did winston churchill do about it now? after a few weeks of feeling sorry for himself, churchill knew what he must do. warns the world about the perils of communism and colin harry truman for a tighter relationship between britain and america. churches see us at our table was gone but what remained was to
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most potent weapons, his been or rather the pen of a secretaries, and his voice. he gave a rousing speech and the house of commons during august 1945, and there he first introduced the world to the phrase the iron curtain. but for whatever reason it didn't gain much media attention either in britain, u.s. or elsewhere. churchill also shed his bid to the kennedy prime minister mackenzie king, who we told that russia was grabbing one european country after another, much as hitler had done. so why didn't churchill's first public warning against communism fall on deaf ears? there were several reasons. first, the war weary british and american people didn't want to hear anything bad about the supposed ally, stalin. the media had or trade this kind jovial uncle joe, and really made it out to be just a kindly family relative he would sit
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down every deal you with stories and cozy up to churchill and forced fdr and then truman. and even churchill and fdr had used these terms in their memos to each other. and then there was the fact that prevailing opinion was as much as it was after world war i, people would do anything to avoid another war. of course, their boys had just come home, at least those who had made it on. and their families could not entertain sending their young men back to fight communist russia. then there was also the feeling of postwar to consider. who wants to hear the bad news now to hitler and his cronies are defeated? people just wanted to get on with their lives in piece time and not inward. regardless, churchill knew that he had to get through to them. communism is not some harmless experiment with a new form of government. not just a more stringent type of socialism than the one that was starting to take hold in
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america, andy d. with with a labour victory in britain, there, too. churchill knew deep down that while he enjoyed stalin's company of thought he could influence him on a one-to-one basis, that he couldn't be trusted. and with hundreds of thousands of russian troops still stationed in western europe, and the red army controlled all of eastern berlin where they were backing far left leaders trying to fill hitler's forte, churchill recognized the backs of britain and america were well into it against the wall, or as he termed it, and the iron curtain. as with hitler, churchill knew that just giving stalin a few concessions would not appease him. instead this would just encourage the soviets to keep grasping for more lands, more control, andy dick more power. karl marx is manifestly show that communism was inherently expansionist, confirming churchill's worst fears.
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and any hope of preventing communism from spreading, like the deceased that he believed it to be. but churchill needed a platform. his postwar victory lack of receiving honorary degrees across britain, and a relaxing holiday inn italy and monte carlo in september 1945 were all well and good, but churchill is foremost a man of action. the question was where and when could he speak the truth about communism to a wide and also an attentive audience? and so it was that in octobe october 1945, and invite came to him by u.s. state department mail from the most unlikely venue imaginable, westminster college in tiny fold in
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missouri, with its -- that's not right. it doesn't say 3300 students. and now frank mccluer and if technology doesn't fail me, there we see them with his wife, was the president of westminster and yet an old classmate, who now happened to be a military aide in truman's white house. and as we all know, truman like his old misery boys better than anybody and it was, in fact, known as the missouri game. so mccluer fed and his neck name bullet on the debate team had the idea of asking churchill to speak, and again not westminster london with house of parliament resides, not westminster college in missouri. he managed to get in five minutes with him in the oval office. the president it was like mccluer in missouri and as we've already found out, i don't know
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who put that in there, he said it's a good letter and a lot of postscripts we took up his pen and he scribbled, this is a wonderful school in my home state. hope you can do it. i'll introduce you, harry truman. and he handed it back and he said no, you send that to him. now, bold and bold and the court had landed other big names in the past. new york city mayor laguardia to of course you may have floated airports that bears his name, and at the time, new fbi director j. edgar hoover. they both have spoken at westminster college because bullets audacious invitations. a churchill, winston churchill was in another category altogether. bullet was confident of his success, but needed even with truman so it was still a longshot. after all, churchill received dozens of invitations every month asking them to come and grace colleges like harvard and stanford and oxford with his
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presence. most of them he turned down, if, in fact, got to him past his army secretary's. but when churchill red mccluer's note, he got to the pot and he saw truman to dinner, he knew that this was it. this was his opportunity. the president of the united states introducing churchill in his home state, the world would have to be watching and listening. so despite this, boiler mact were, westminster college had done it. churchill and truman were coming to form in march 1946. unfortunately bullet mccluer didn't know what he bargained for. it seemed pretty easy to write a letter answer a nice getting to go to the white house. soon enough the question came to his mind, how on earth is this town of 8000 people going to accommodate tens of thousands of visitors coming here to see the two most famous men in the
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world? so to try to overcome this logistical nightmare, mccluer established committees for every conceivable detail, housing, food, safety, policing, communications, and even toilets. they did, in fact, have a toilet. mccluer didn't do all this work alone. so he hired to publicists and he worked around-the-clock with them. even while laboring to restore his beloved westminster college to postwar austerity because of course any male over the age of 17 had been draft eligible and it was only mccluer's negotiating that did, in fact, get the college going when the government agreed to host the naval training program for cadets there. so westminster college booked lots of rooms at every hotel for hundreds of miles. being a christian school, it didn't allow the wearing of shorts, not as raucous as those as larger schools in a statement
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nonetheless he opened the door to journalists and radio station staff who couldn't stay in hotel blocks that were reserved. newspapers across america and, indeed, the world carried news of mccluer's unlikely triumph and a churchill's imminent arrival in fulton, a town but churchill and, indeed, most of the people reading about this had never heard of to be perfectly honest. now, more than 15,000, as many as 20,000 requests for only 2800 tickets flooded into the tiny westminster college milram which is about the size of this podium, and possibly smaller. nobody was allowed a hand out more than two tickets to anyone without bullet mccluer's say-so. this meant he had to oversee virtually every request and, of course, most people wanted to tickets, and in the case of one letter, up to 18 which seems as audacious as in fact it was. at fulton five churches and the
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seemingly endless number of ladies associations in the town, offered help. but there would still be huge food shortage, so bullet and his team enlisted the help of patrons in st. louis who delivered 8000 pounds of hot dogs, and 3000 pounds of hamburger. southwestern bell lay thousands of yards of telephone cable turning the sidewalk into a temporary construction sites. and even the mccluer some is not safe from the turmoil. they installed a new tub encased churchill wanted wanted one of his famous well-publicized daily circ. the couple's only son, richmond, fresh from returning as a decorated war hero in europe gave up his room so the former prime minister could take his customary afternoon nap. journalists and photographers from more than 200 news outlets descended on fulton, which was once in your trading capital of the midwest, and not employed -- shoe factories, a brick factory,
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and a wide assortment of sort lined the kabul main drag which consisted of about three blocks. and while mccluer, his wife and their army get everything ready, winston churchill was journeying down to miami where he was to spend a few weeks of the home of the canadian colonel, frank clark, who he had met during the war. churchill loved to paint and finish several campuses of the crystal-clear atlantic ocean. he also -- like an oversized tasty five year old. attending a horseracing event, the popular and i apologize if anyone is here from florida, hialeah racetrack, ford's famous infield that was pie plate of all things by pink flamingos, churchill back a couple of winners and backed a couple of bucks. he took a two-day jaunt on a plane that had been led to him by president harry truman because as we know, world
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leaders lincoln things like planes. so they went down to a vanity by which is not yet come under communist rule, and more importantly for churchill we could acquire abundance supply of the soon to be banned trademark cigars. reporters will churchill everywhere. and while that ample time to relax, churchill's packed schedule called attention and health. in fact, one argument between me and clementine, his wife, was so intense that according to joe sturdy, is 26 euros secretary who was present during the trip, but churchill's can speak to each other or indeed look at each other for two whole days. and anyone married in the audience may or may not know what i'm talking about. i'm only joking of course. churchill also serious business to attend to. he met with the financier and secretary of state james burns, about the proposed three-point $75 billion loan to britain.
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which many isolationists in both republican and democratic parties were dead set against. not least because america and already pumped billions into the war effort. in february of 1946 after a few weeks down sunning himself in miami, churchill flew from there to washington to meet truman. with his plane going through the worst winter storm hit the capital that winter. because they weren't wearing seat belts, and why would you if you're trying to smoke cigars and drink whatever they were drinking, scotch probably. churchill and his group was sown in the air and landed hard on the floor in the aircraft. it was no first class luxury. it seems even for mr. winston churchill. the plane landed safely and once at the white house, churchill talked in earnest with truman for several hours about the speech that was to come. as the days of february slipped away and march came on, churchill worked on the speech, which had the working title,
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world piece in earnest, he saw -- showing for reading drafts to secretary of state burns, admiral william leahy, canadian prime minister mckinsey k., and british ambassador lord halifax, to name just a few. halifax recalled later that the first time i churchill read the draft to him he was so passionate that tears welled in his eyes and started trickling down his cheeks. churchill was sort whenever a man lacking passion, even when just reading a first draft. and, indeed, he was always diligent in his speech writing. one historian claims he devoted one hour at every minute of his speeches in the house of commons. to just relentlessly reading and reading to imagine that if you can. so "60 minutes" speech would have been 60 hours the other know about churchill, he liked to speak so, in fact, many of them may have taken 60 hours to prepare. yet in my research i found the
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went even further with what was soon known as the iron curtain speech, spending more time on it and showing it to more people than any other. and though he did collaborate and accepted many, many suggestions, the fact remains that unlike any other at that time for them, winston churchill wrote his own speeches, and he wrote this one. they caving change after change to his beleaguered and overworked secretary, the 26 year-old who probably didn't know what she was in for when she said sure, i'll go for a sunshine vacation in miami with you. she likely had the help from one of colonel clark's assistance and, indeed, there were so many -- lord halifax sent out an extra secretary from washington, d.c. to help. when she wasn't being summoned to go to churchill's notes for the 175th time, the two assistance and soon the third one sent to washington sorted
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through hundreds of doing letters that arrive each week. the only person getting more mail in fact was bullet mccluer who continued getting requests for tickets since the speech date of march 5 crept up. if technology doesn't fail me, we can see mrs. mccluer and two of his associates joe humphreys, his publicist and neil, the president of the board of trustees at westminster pouring over some of these letters and, indeed, the map of the proposed route. now i can with the next slide is who we would just go with any moment. on march 4, churchill flew to washington, and, indeed, it costs less headaches. and he, trim and truman's advisers along with about 65 reporters who fancied a trip to missouri in one word of course, took the presidential train to st. louis, almost 850 miles and then onto jefferson city, missouri. one of my favorite parts of the story, churchill positioned
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himself as a proficient gambler to the president. but the problem was of course that truman and his aides played quite a lot of poker, and the former prime minister soon found himself in quite a hole. when churchill took a bathroom break, major general bourn, then helped bring churchill to fulton leaned over to his boss, harry truman and said, boss, this guy is a pigeon. we're going to have his pants before the night is over. [laughter] now, before the game, truman was worried that his voice wouldn't be competitive enough and he urged them to play hard because as he said, national honor is at stake. truman now told him to go easy on the guest, and even threw a few hands for him. but some of churchill still managed to lose $200 by the end of the night. and expensive trip indeed. that's been eating churchill to truman and his game that he first tried whiskey while serving with the british army in
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south africa, and quite diligent effort had come to like it. [laughter] now later in the journey, truman finally looked at the speech even though he planned not to so he could distance himself if he was criticized as both him and churchill soon -- assumed it would be. churchill that retitled the speech by this time to sinews of peace. when truman's press secretary, charlie, which unsurprisingly was another boy from missouri and while working for the st. louis dispatch, took this vital valuable copy and quite had the only one, i don't know what would've happened if he had -- but they only had one. he took it down to the 65 reporters who are writing in the front of the train, and they were ready for someone to copy longhand, which i'm glad i didn't have his job. but anyway, they couldn't believe it. the press corps, when all 65 of
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them crammed into these tiny little compartments of the train. they just couldn't believe that churchill wrote his own speeches. they had never heard of a american politician or indeed a british one who did the no wonder they're so good, said one "new york times" writer. he actually writes them himself. the trip was beneficial to churchill who was of course eager to share his views on communism with the president, and they need to continue partnership between britain and america with all the postwar challenges. their time together was also useful for truman. churchill had been in high office for more than 30 years. while truman had been president for less than a year, and on his resume has been farming and, indeed, managing a men's clothing store that failed during the depression right here in kansas city, missouri. so this is quite the time for truman to get to know one of the world's preeminent statesman. when he spent a few minutes on the train platform in st. louis
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before they changed trains, harry truman waved to her little boy who at come with his grandmother to see the president that day. but despite his grandma's plea, the boy would not waive back. with a two year-old and a five year old, i know that. and truman joked to the mayor of st. louis was standing alongside well, he must be a republican. [laughter] now we're going to have a little look at a slight. oh, look at this -- what do we find here? the big day. arriving, church -- churchill and truman were greeted by the mayor. also there to meet him was the man his audacity, never say die spirit that made this trip
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possible, frank bullet mccluer from westminster college. after the men shook hands and exchanged a few kind words, they hop in the governor's brand-new shiny black packer scoop which is big enough outlets to accommodate half of kansas city, at least. during a brief parade through the streets, churchill showed his human side, honoring the request by waving to a chronically ill person was propped up in his hotel bedroom window. on the outskirts of jefferson city, things were not going well for frank bullet mccluer on his big day. smoke go to the car carrying churchill and truman and not just an endless supply of lit cigars. they clambered out as the car ground to a very unceremoniously and unplanned halt. churchill secretary got out of the vehicle, too, and after a brief but tactical game of musical chairs and running
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around, the group was ready again to go to fulton. in fothen, people have started arriving at dawn, and the dozens of small stores that line the main drag were doing a roaring trade. on the street vendors showed brightly colored pennants, and american flags with churchill and truman day in place in either across or -- and balloon sellers quickly sold all their wares to local children. it was a fairground atmosphere, in this normally quiet and sedate little town. by the time churchill and truman's car came to the edge of the city more than 25,000 people had jammed the streets in any spot they could find both in doorways, and even up in second and third floor windows to get a better view. many more would have come if local radio stations had not scheduled off by warning of
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overcrowding and a bad weather. but despite the grim predictions it was unusually warm for march. in looking at photos and video, i was amazed at how vulnerable truman and churchill looked in their cars. despite the state guard troops that line almost every intersection. but, of course, jfk's fateful trip to dallas with still many years away. presidential security was still very much a work in progress. crowds lined the sidewalks five feet in some places, three bands play, and the cheering was almost deafening as truman and churchill rode past. churchill of course in his familiar pose, cigar between his lips, two fingers aloft in a v. for victory sign, with colorful banners about him blowing in the breeze. truman as impeccably dressed as you would expect from the former owner of a kansas city clothing store, smiled and waved at the
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crowd. but just it was not just about the famous guest or bullet mccluer, but it was also about those who had come from far away to see them. and this is one of my favorite parts of the book, and being able to conduct many oral interviews and tell the stories of a few of those people. in fact, one person is you're with deceiving, and i thank him for dignifying us with his presence and coming all this way. thank you. on the sidewalk beside the gas station with fire engine red pumps, 14 year-old glenn sold ham sandwiches that he bought from a local café that morning at cost or queue is quite the entrepreneur, even at age 14, and log them in a heavy cord through the busy streets. a few blocks down, his classmate, bill johnson, sold to fulton sun gazette until his hand turn black with print. in the climb up on the roof of a
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local insurance company so he could get a better view of churchill and truman as they drove past. after circling through the town, the cars went up onto westminster's hilltop campus with, as we saw with the previous picture, if i can get back there, yes, it is doing it, it's kind of crescent shaped. there we are. and now churchill and truman were being asked constantly to turn around, winston, get another photo the. turnaround, kerry. and they obliged as many times as we couldn't find it it was time to go into mccluer's house which would house about 65 people that they including the guest of honor. going up the front steps and getting onto the porch, churchill asked idabel mccluer as he walked up there, mrs. mccluer, may i bring this old still be into your home?
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now, she was likely will use to her husband pipe smoking and so agree. anyway, really, could she have turned down the world's most famous cigar smoker? then they shook hands. mrs. mccluer remembered later that churchill's hands were very soft, almost like a babies which struck me as an awed by telling description. it was a huge spread of food, rolls, salad, mashed potatoes, a good old missouri feast. churchill was impressed most by the giant ham that had been queuing for weeks, and he turned to idabel and said, the pig has reached the highest point of its evolution in this hamlet. [laughter] -- in this ham. so idabel had done a job well done. so here we see a picture just taken after lunch. president harry truman and bullet mccluer sharing a laugh about something, probably the ham comment.
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and at around 2 p.m. the police and the secret service began letting people in to the gym, and many more lined up outside. of course, only those with a ticket were able to get into the campus. with all the dresses, the big hats and the freshly pressed suits, the scene resembled a fancy wedding. almost 200 reporters and photographers crowded onto a makeshift platform that was suspended by carries the high above the gym floor at one end. in the basement hundreds yards of people snaked around under chairs and tables and western union operators sat poised at their typewriters checking paper and ribbons. s. churchill was taking his typical afternoon nap, so likely richman had in fact given up his bid for a reason, it was probably all the more satisfying i imagine due to the feet of churchill had just consumed. harry truman was a little concerned with one detail in
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this bright county have been overlooked, and that was to forget churchill is customary pre-speech table. as i said fulton was a dry county, but truman, knowing that his friend harry knew many people in his town, city not to the crowd and likely he did, in fact, ran into an old friend, he knew everyone there, and sent the man dashing off into town. he came back a few minutes later checking to make sure there were no local our call police, with a small bottle so that he carefully tucked into his jacket pocket. grabbing an ice bucket and classes from the mccluer's kitchen, he made his way upstairs and rapped on what he hoped was the correct bedroom door. when a somewhat frustrated trying to usher came in, his mood certainly improved when he saw what the reason for this outrageous intrusion was.
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thank goodness, he said. i was starting to wonder whether i was informed missouri or fulton, so hard. now, after they shared a drink, they went downstairs and churchill was startled by a photographers flashbulb thereby. it had been a few minutes before this, and he turned to truman and grinned singh, what? there must be a russian in the house. now just a few minutes before the speech, churchill, truman and the rest joined the procession led by members of the college's secret society, and it did have the pleasure of attending a series, at westminster college, the most recent of which was, in fact, last weekend, you will notice speakers today are still the to the podium in this manner. and there was a churchill and in a few moments technical misery
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notwithstanding we may actually get to watch a little video so you can stop listening to me for a moment, but we will see. it was crowded inside the gym as you'd expect. the gym was built, meant to house 500 people but, in fact, they jam 2800. so even with the windows open it was getting a little sticky anthem in which they had left their jackets ago. churchill in fact did forget his coat, and sent a baffled and beleaguered aid running out to find it, and, unfortunately, when he got back to the stage, churchill had changed his mind and look at him like he was crazy, the man wrote later. but churchill, after harry truman's kind introduction at the podium, intuitive self to the sticky an overheated car, putting them at ease and joking, like him, he too, had been schooled at westminster. although in this case, the house of commons in england. churchill been claimed to be a
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private citizen speaking for himself, but truly, harry truman's very presence there on that stage and in his home state -- churchill began talking about american power and responsibility, and vincent as you may recognize if your family with the title of the book, that our supreme task in duty is to guard the homes of the common people from the horrors and misery of another war. he then called for a strong active united nations, and for britain, canada and the united states to keep their shared atomic secrets in fact secret in case they fell into the hands of -- although he didn't name the government he had in mind. he warned against a team being drawn into the global catastrophic conflict.
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he then moved on to what he called the second of two goblet order to name the, tyranny. churchill told the crowd that the society is far different in america or in deep britain's. where as it was an all controlling police state and whether were, in fact, no rights for the individual whatsoever. this q&a, he said, was the opposite of those liberal democratic values which we still cherish today, the rule of law, elected government, freedom of speech, and expression. it's no coincidence that the anniversary of thomas jefferson's noted inauguration speech had been just the day before churchill spoke. and what could prevent all of these values and the spread of tyranny, churchill asked his audience. nothing less than a special relationship between britain and the united states to build what he called a temple of piece.
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however, standing in their way, the threat of expansionist communism, which churchill now gave name to, and let's watch if we could a short clip of what churchill said next. >> oh, my good grief. i shall read to you and i shall stop if the video comes back. >> [inaudible] the iron curtain has descended on the continent. behind that line -- [inaudible] warsaw, berlin, prague, vienna,
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budapest, belgrade, bucharest and sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what i must call the soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to soviet influence but to a very high and, in some cases, increasing measure of control from moscow. >> he said it better than i would have. now, churchill went on to talk about many soviet misdeeds. among them, displacing millions of germans from their homes, trying to destabilize even western europe, wanting to prevent at all costs democracy from being established in berlin, making outrageous demands in turkey and iran, and backing the economy is takeover attempt in china, or manchuria
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as he called it. even stated the utmost need of active diplomacy back when military strength, and sent of russia, that there's nothing to which they have less respect than for weakness, especially military weakness. churchill been linked his warning about communism to his founding -- sounded the alarm bell before world war ii which warned his listeners that this first time in case they have forgotten, no one would listen, and one by one we were all sucked into the whirlpool, surely i put it to you, shirley ladies and gentlemen, we must not let that happen again. america and britain were at the crossroads, churchill believed, with just two possible powers ahead. failure to act on the threat of communism would send them all back to a school for for for a third time, he contended.
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in contrast, standing strong and actively pursuing settlement with russia wouldn't able to america, britain and the world to go down that brighter path where, he said, the high road of the future be clear, not only for us but for all. not only for our time but for a century to come. now, as a research aftermath of this most historic of churchill's speeches, i was amazed at how strong the negative reactions truly were. today we remember it as one of the pill little moments of the era, the speech that defined the problems of the post world war -- excuse me can other post war world, and one that ushered in the cold war. but at the time, churchill was blasted on both sides of the land and the both sides of the aisle. despite the speech being called the sinews of peace, press and
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politicians called him an imperialist, an old story, perhaps. while even stalin himself called churchill a war monger and insinuate that it was, in fact, churchill, not stalin, who wanted world war iii and world domination. afterward them as they had planned all along, harry truman denied reading the speech, even though as we've heard on the train, he couldn't hold back his curiosity. in england, labour mps filed a motion of center against churchill and the house of commons. and in the united states, hundreds of protectors -- protesters gathered outside the waldorf-astoria hotel in new york were churchill stayed later on the trip chanting g.i. joe is home to stay. go away. but several hours later in another speech at the waldorf-astoria, churchill stuck to his guns and ground defiantly, i do not wish to withdraw or modify a single
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word. we could benefit from such resolution, such strength, such conviction today. despite this negative reaction from churchill's words affected u.s. policy immediately. in addition to the anecdote which they showed -- shared early, that day and fold, secretary of state james burns sent a strong warning to moscow about russia needing to leave iran at once as it had promised. and asking for details of how exactly the soviets were funding the chinese communists. the month before churchill went to fulton, truman and his team had read a veteran diplomat george tenet's long telegram from moscow that share the main points of churchill's message. russia wanted to spread communism and gain control and influence worldwide. it stood against democracy, and the only active diplomacy backed
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by military strength was the way forward, and the way to secure a lasting piece of which both canon row, and churchill indeed spoke. the following year in 1947, truman announced the truman doctrine that containing russia in a speech at harvard. harvard of course was quite a different setting from westminster college, though the small school had dignified itself just as much. on its big day as that great institution did on theirs. business followed in time by the marshall plan which helped reconstruct western europe and as churchill and canon have helped, create a bolster against expansion communism. despite his where predictions and, in fact, doomsday predictions really, that his political career was over after his election defeat in july 1945, which i remind you again, he was 70 at the time,
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churchill did indeed become prime minister for a second time in 1952. and from this point until the end of his career he devoted all his energy, sometimes neglecting domestic policy as many historians have written come into reaching a settlement with russia for peaceful, and lasting settlement. churchill in fact wants to go on a lonely pilgrimage to oscow and to organize three party talks with russia and america has yet suggested in fulton, missouri. he achieved neither but in the long run churchill sought for some diplomacy and, indeed, coined this phrase when churchill spoke. influenced the next two generations of leaders in britain, america, and even russia itself. so what is the legacy of the iron curtain speech now? a speech, after all delivered almost 66 years to this day.
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first, it is that churchill was inherently right. communism as a global force -- next, is impact of churchill's policy of active diplomacy backed by strength. we saw the marks on everyone from john f. kennedy and his handling of the cuban missile crisis, to richard nixon and his ability to sit down and parlayed by some as churchill has said, with the russian leaders. indeed jfk was an average of churchill's speeches. and he may churchill just the second honorary foreign citizen of the united states. and in his memoir, richard nixon credited churchill with profoundly influencing his ideas on foreign policy, and the way he talked with his russian counterparts in the years to come. and then, a few years later we see the influence of churchill's work and example on ronald reagan with churchill's natural
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air, margaret thatcher and the way they had a special relationship forward. even mikhail gorbachev acknowledged the role of churchill's speech in defining a way forward without resorting to all out mutually destructive war. and what can churchill's iron message -- iron curtain message teachers now that the soviet union is, in fact, no more? in this age in which we've grown very cynical toward our politicians, we too often dismissed a good speaker on either side as someone who's just using words to pull one over on us. win something, someone who has lots to say but not a lot to do. i feel that the right speech delivered by the right speaker at the right time has the power to free the nation into being as with the declaration of independence. it has the power to inspire us to fight back against t

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